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NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Bill Cosby was charged Wednesday with sexually assaulting a woman at his home 12 years ago — the first criminal charges brought against the comedian out of the torrent of allegations that destroyed his good-guy image as America’s Dad.

The case sets the stage for perhaps the biggest Hollywood celebrity trial of the mobile-all-the-time era and could send the 78-year-old Cosby to prison in the twilight of his life and barrier-breaking career.

In bringing the case, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman overruled her predecessor, who declined to charge Cosby in 2005 when Temple University employee Andrea Constand first told police that the comic drugged her and violated her by putting his hands down her pants at his mansion in suburban Philadelphia.

Cosby was charged with aggravated indecent assault and was to be arraigned in the afternoon.

The TV star acknowledged under oath a decade ago that he had sexual contact with Constand but said it was consensual.

Cosby-mugshot

The charges were announced just days before the 12-year statute of limitations for bringing charges was set to run out.

Prosecutors reopened the case over the summer as damaging testimony was unsealed in Constand’s related civil lawsuit against Cosby and as dozens of other women came forward with similar accusations that made a mockery of his image as the wise and understanding Dr. Cliff Huxtable from TV’s “The Cosby Show.”

Many of those alleged assaults date back decades, and the statute of limitations for bringing charges has expired in nearly every case.

Constand, who is now 42 and works as a massage therapist in her native Canada, is ready to face Cosby in court, her attorney, Dolores Troiani, said this fall.

“She’s a very strong lady,” Troiani said. “She’ll do whatever they request of her.”

The charges add to the towering list of legal problems facing the actor, including defamation and sex-abuse lawsuits filed in Boston, Los Angeles and Pennsylvania.

Cosby in 1965 became the first black actor to land a leading role in a network drama, “I Spy,” and he went on to earn three straight Emmys. Over the next three decades, the Philadelphia-born comic created TV’s animated “Fat Albert” and the top-rated “Cosby Show,” the 1980s sitcom celebrated as groundbreaking television for its depiction of a warm and loving family headed by two black professionals — one a lawyer, the other a doctor.

He was a fatherly figure off camera as well, serving as a public moralist and public scold, urging young people to pull up their saggy pants and start acting responsibly.

Constand, who worked for the women’s basketball team at Temple, where Cosby was a trustee and proud alumnus, said she was assaulted after going to his home in January 2004 for some career advice.

Then-District Attorney Bruce Castor declined to charge Cosby, saying at the time that both the TV star and his accuser could be portrayed in “a less than flattering light.” This year, Castor said the allegations in Constand’s lawsuit were more serious than the account she gave police, and if that information had been known at the time, “we might have been able to make a case.”

Castor tried to make a comeback as district attorney in the November election but lost to Ferman’s top deputy.

After the criminal case went nowhere, Constand settled her lawsuit against Cosby in 2006 on confidential terms.

Her allegations and similar ones from other women in the years that followed did not receive wide attention but exploded into view in late 2014, first online, then in the wider media, after comedian Hannibal Buress mocked Cosby as a hypocrite and called him a rapist during a standup routine. That opened the floodgates on even more allegations.

Women mostly from the world of modeling, acting or other entertainment fields came forward and described being offered a drink by Cosby and waking up to find they had apparently been sexually assaulted. Cosby, through his representatives, accused some of the women of trying to extract money from him or get ahead in show business.

Earlier this year, The Associated Press persuaded a judge to unseal documents from the Constand lawsuit, and they showed the long-married Cosby acknowledging a string of affairs and sexual encounters.

Cosby testified that he obtained quaaludes in the 1970s to give to women he wanted to have sex with. He denied giving women drugs without their knowledge and said he had used the now-banned sedative “the same as a person would say, ‘Have a drink.'”

In the deposition, Cosby said he put his hands down Constand’s pants that night and fondled her, taking her silence as a green light. Constand maintains she was semi-conscious after he gave her pills he said would relax her.

“I don’t hear her say anything. And I don’t feel her say anything. And so I continue and I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection. I am not stopped,” Cosby testified.

He said Constand was not upset when she left that night. She went to police a year later.

Her lawyer has said Constand is gay and was dating a woman around the time she met Cosby in the early 2000s.

The Ap generally does not identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they agree to have their names published, as Constand has done.

Laurie Levenson, a criminal law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said Cosby no longer enjoys the celebrity appeal that might sway a jury.

“His reputation has already been tarnished, so I doubt that jurors would be inclined to believe him just because of his prior image,” she said in September. She said the judge in the case will have to decide whether to allow other accusers to testify or whether that would be too prejudicial.

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Celebs Who Have Been Accused of Sexual Assault
19 photos

(Photo Source: AP; Second Photo: MONTGOMERY COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE)

43 thoughts on “Bill Cosby is Charged With Sexually Assaulting a Woman

  1. Khmboo on said:

    Mr. Cosby is his brand, and the DAMAGE has been done to his career, reputation, and lively hood. To be accused and tried in the media, is enough to do damage. He needs to fight the good fight, or have those in his corner continue to do so, if his health doesn’t permit. With this said, if any of these victims have lied, or perpetuated the truth, especially those for financial gain…they equally deserve to be sued, and have their livelihoods taken away, and pay Mr. Cosby ESTATE restitution for the rest of their lives. Also, he was around plenty of women during the Cosby years, where are those women?

  2. specialt757 on said:

    Okay did I hear this right? Cosby’s bail/pond $1M, the knucklehead that killed that 1 year old baby’s bail $650K. Oh damn, I keep forgetting, this is a white woman? $1M for what amounts to inappropriate sexual misconduct, $650K murder of a black child. Is it me or is something wrong with this picture?

  3. Honestly on said:

    The cave n!@@er robert blake got away with murdering his wife and not a peep from his fellow cave n!@@ers, go figure. They should have never been let out of the caves of Europe.

  4. Honestly on said:

    The cave n!@@er ben roethlisberger raped women, still playing in the nfl. The cave n!@@er woody allen rapes biological children and adopted daughter, he later marries, still doing movies. The cave n!@@er marv albert sexually assaults a woman, still working behind the mike and calling games. bill clinton the rapist and chief f*ucked a big nasty cave beast in the oval office and still went on to complete his term as president. These neanderthal apes are racist hypocrites. They should have never been let out of the caves of Europe.

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  6. When the cop from Oklahoma, who btw gorillas was half white, was charged with raping those women yall were already making racist comments against him. Now one of your own is charged with raping a white woman and all of a sudden the white women are at fault. Yet you call us whites racists. GTFOH you black POS!

  7. Being a black man is just a mark. A mark we have watch our step everywhere we go…if some white man say he did it……let’s go kill him. Now if you are Bill Cosby….oh he’s a black, lets take his black @ss down….. we know we dont have a case but we get his money…..

  8. they finally got the black POS! How many white women did this blackboy rape! The pig pretended to be an educated blackboy and a role model for the black community. In reality, he’s just like every other blackboy, they always mess up. The ape OJ simpson got away with murdering two whites. black skin privilege.

    • specialt757 on said:

      If these women really wanted justice against their rapist, they would have filed criminal charges when the “incident” occurred.

      • Yep, no tip towing through the tulips with that argument. I also find it interesting that none of them told a family member or friend about the assault. If anyone assaulted me every one in the family(maybe not dad because he would have killed him) would know about it. Where are there character witnesses. A lot does not add up.

  9. specialt757 on said:

    Okay refresh my memory, why was this Temple University employee alone with him at his home again? I guess that will come out in court.

  10. Catreva on said:

    Like the DA said, she is willing to do anything. With that being said, I was raped and drugged by Cosby, can I get some $ 2 please. I mean I just needed a little advice on my career, duh, so I went to his house(even tho the office is where I should’ve went). And the only reason I’m saying something now, is because the DA and media gave me all the info I needed to cash in.

  11. Buckeye Mom on said:

    Bill Bill Bill you almost got away with playing with these gullible naive I want to be a star females and you don’t even look like Denzel!!! hahahaha Here’s my problem? All those gorgeous intelligent women on The Cosby/Different World sets and Bill never played with them???? Gloria Allred wants Bill’s bank account as usual. I would fight to the very end if I were Bill! My child met Bill at Ohio State and she said he was pleasant and funny but then she wasn’t a naive gullible PYT!!! hahahaha She also said Kevin Hart was funny!

    • specialt757 on said:

      Not only gorgeous, intelligent women on the Cosby Show, but those he has encountered outside who said he was nothing but pleasant and respectful to them. What makes these women different I wonder? The media and lawyers have gone out of their way to find woman who he “sexually assaulted” within the statute of limitation but no one has come forward, that’s also strange.
      Must be just a co- inky dink that these allegations spread like wild fire once he began negotiations to buy a major TV network. Funny how that works.

    • I agree. If he is innocence, I want him to fight tooth and nails; however, if he is guilty, I am sad about it but these women side need to be heard. I have my own “thoughts” about this issue but I want to KNOW the FACTS of this situations. I know men can do these kind of things to women BUT I also know people lie and when a person has money, this kind of “play being victim” if that is the case goes up 3x as much. This is why I do NOT want to hear no one who goes on a tabloid story talking about how much pain they are in. ANYONE who is trying to make a claim is going to play it up to make themself look like a victim. I have seen it done in court. And I have seen people who did crimes try to get out of them as well. Again, SHOW THE FACTS IN COURT.

  12. I am glad this is going to court now in a criminal court so we can see what evidence on BOTH sides have to see who is telling the truth or who seem creditable (CREDITABLITY is key to this kind of case); however, I will say people need to take note in a case like this. This is NOT a past 12 year robbery case or a homicide case, but an “accused” assault case. What this may now do is start opening the doors for everyone to go back and make claims on Past people regardless if the accusations are true or not to be arrested.

    • To add, what this now does is that if you are 18 or older and were in school, work, or college, someone from that past can now come forward and say you assaulted her/him back in the day. His or her lawyer can use this Cosby case as an example to get the lawsuit going against you and wait on a judge to rule in his/her favor.

  13. specialt757 on said:

    Okay so let me sure I understand this, 12 years ago, this same woman tried to press sexual assault charges a year after said event occurred, but didn’t have enough evidence, she got paid off and now she’s back? Did new evidence fall from the sky? I don’t see her being successful, not with any kind of intelligent judge on the bench. Oh yeah but he is black.
    I’m with you “Honestly”, and where is the witch hunt for (Stephen Collins) the guy from 7th Heaven and miraculously, his show is still in syndication? White privilege.

    • Really Specialt757? I did not follow this case bact then. If this the same woman who got the setttlement? I do not know that part. If that is the case, you can believe in court that Cosby Defense is going to say “if you were so abused, why did you take a settlement and not fight the case in Criminal court but was willing to do a civil? We who work in this field know people settle for different reason and do not have to be guilty either. Some people settle because they do not want to fight in court. (2) court cost is too high. (3) To get it out of the media because they know that is all the person want; (4) Do not think they can get a fair trial because of what they are accused of. Settlements DO NOT STOP CRIMINAL COURT or anyone from still wanting to go to criminal court. So why didn’t she do that (fight criminal even after she got the settlement? That will come into play.

    • I believe someone mention the actor (Stephen Collins) from the TV series 7TH Heaven. What I find odd about that situation is that Mr. Collins was given the opportunity to brag about his despicable behavior towards under age girls. On December 19, 2014 he gave an incredibly strange interview to Barbara Walters on 20/20. He was also the cover story for the 2014 December issue of People magazine. These are the same platforms that were used to inform the public about Elizabeth Smarts, Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus – Ariel Castro kidnappings, Jaycee Lee Dugard (kidnapped and imprisoned for 18 years) heroic stories. People magazine and ABC 20/20 gave Stephen Collins the same platform to brag about his inappropriate urges (alleged sexual assaults against teenage girls) and attraction towards teenage girls. Around the same time that the Bill Cosby allegations materialized, The Royal Family had their own sexual assault scandal. Prince Andrew Duke of York (Jeffrey Epstein’s powerful friends) alleged sex slave scandal was barely mentioned on GMA. Whatever happened to Virginia Roberts, the young lady that was forced into underage sex slavery against her will. She was past around to power White men that took advantage of her for 3 years. Also the SUBWAY spokesman, Jared Fogle, is a child molester and distributed child pornography to other monsters. The Mainstream Media/White America down played the story for 5 months before it went public. He allegedly sexually assaulted at least 14 underage children. He gave each victim $100,000 in hush money. You don’t hear the Mainstream Media/ White America mentioning his name every 10 seconds like they did to Michael Jackson. The difference with Jared Fogle and Michael Jackson, is that MJ was falsely accused for financial gain. And yet for the last 17 months all we hear about is the Bill Cosby unfounded allegations. When the Bill Cosby allegations first surfaced, a woman (a model) came forward and admitted that she was approached by mysterious men to go up to Mr. Cosby’s hotel suite and seduce him. She was offered $5,000 to do it and she turned it down. The men doubled the offer and kept raising the offer until it reached into the six figures. She still turned down the offer because she wasn’t comfortable with the situation. The woman believed that Ms. Andrea Constand was given the same offer weeks later. Unfortunately, the pop-up article has since disappeared. If anyone can find it, please post the link here on BAW. I believe there is more to this Bill Cosby story. Too many of our Black male celebrities are being targeted by the Mainstream Media/ White America. Maybe it’s retaliation for the Black community fighting back against the injustices in this country.

  14. 2015, it is hard for a black man to get justice. But the so call victims, blood sucking lawyers and media would like you to believe in 1960’s and 1970’s, that a black man was able to get away with rape of several white women. Do not believe it.

    • I think most of these women were willing participates with him and drugs. That is why many of those women did not speak up about it. Bill Cosby was WELL KNOWN, not an unknown stranger or family member where these women had to keep quiet. Just a grunt about abuse would have made the press run to talk about it. I think it is some of everything in this case. We will see.

  15. Mr. Cosby is charged, now hopefully we will have a trial to see what is what and who is telling the truth. Being “charge” does NOT mean someone is guilty but “intent” (anyone can be accused of something a be arrested and you have to post bail, and then go to court to see who is telling the truth to see if you are guilty or not of what you are accused of. If he is innocent, at this point, it is best that he is charged and get his day in court to prove his innocences; if he is guitly, well, his past has caught up with him.

  16. At this point I think everyone that has ever had sexual contact with him is considered a victim. I believe most were willing participants looking for a pay day.

  17. This is just a distraction to take our minds off of our children being murdered by trigger happy policeman. I think that someone is really out to get Mr. Cosby because he represents a strong, intelligent Black man. He may have had indiscretions but I believe they were willing participants. Why wait until now to press charges? I really have no faith in the so called criminal justice system. This whole world lies in wickedness.

  18. Honestly on said:

    Mean while the cave n!@@er du pont rapes his infant daughter and walks free. F*uck these self righteous and depraved racist cave n!@@ers, there is no justice system just a tool of torture used to make life as adverse on people of color as possible. They should have never been let out of the caves of Europe.

  19. Jacqueline Wiggins on said:

    That’s a bunch of bullshit..if someone violated you in that manner you’re not gonna let them pay you..That’s a hurting feeling that money will not take away…I feel for him almost 80 years old now they want to come at him with this nonsense.He was wrong because he had a wife and shouldn’t of been trying to touch any of them.And the women were wrong because they should of came forward with it at the time it happened not took the mans money spent it then came back acting like victims..

    • I agree this is post. Well, he is charged, now hopefully we will have a trial to see what is what and who is telling the truth. Being “charge” does NOT mean someone is guilty but “intent” (anyone can be accused of something a be arrested and you have to post bail, and then go to court to see who is telling the truth to see if you are guilty or not of what you are accused of. If he is innocent, at this point, it is best that he is charged and get his day in court to prove his innocences; if he is guitly, well, his past has caught up with him.

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