Bill Cosby Finally Charged for Alleged 2004 Assault

On December 30, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office in Pennsylvania announced that three felony charges had been filed against Bill Cosby in connection with an alleged rape from 2004. The victim in this case is Andrea Constand, the woman whose 2005 lawsuit against Cosby kicked off the long list of allegations against him.

Despite allegations of sexual assault from more than 50 women, this is the first time Cosby has been criminally charged. Part of the reason for that is that many of the allegations have already exceeded the statute of limitations, with some women claiming they were assaulted decades ago. In those cases, so much time has passed that the truth may never truly be known.

According to District Attorney Kevin Steele, avoiding that scenario was the main motivation in filing these charges against Cosby now. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for sexual assault is 12 years, and next month the state would have lost the ability to bring criminal charges. This is a startling reversal of the state’s 2005 decision to drop the case due to insufficient evidence.

During a press conference, he explained that Constand’s case was reopened in July 2015 due to new evidence becoming available in the case — apparently including the allegations of other victims and the previously-sealed court records from Constand’s 2005 suit. In his deposition for that case, Cosby admitted in court that he had obtained and administered drugs to at least one woman for sexual purposes, although he maintained that such use was consensual.

In May, Care2 members and staff called for Cosby’s comedy tour to be canceled, and even protested outside of the final venue in Atlanta, Georgia. They were joined by Kaya Thompson and Lili Bernard, two of the accusers who have gone public, as well as civil rights lawyer Gloria Allred, who is representing 29 of the victims. While Cosby’s show took place as planned, the protest sparked national media coverage, and Care2 Social Media Manager Julie Mastrine reported that over 1,000 seats at the venue were empty.

While Cosby’s victims may not have been able to shut down his comedy tour, and while many will never be able to see their own cases tried, today they’re celebrating that even one woman stands a chance of receiving justice. It’s possible some of them may be called to testify against Cosby, giving them the chance to finally tell their stories in a court of law.

At the moment, Cosby is out on $1 million bail. No date has yet been set for the trial, but CNN reports it could begin within 9-12 months. The charges against Cosby could result in up to 10 years of prison time and a $25,000 fine, although normally, convicted offenders end up spending two to three years behind bars.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

102 comments

Jerome S
Jerome S9 months ago

thanks

SEND
Jim Ven
Jim V9 months ago

thanks for sharing.

SEND
Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

SEND
Loretta Pienaar

Not guilty till proven - like Rolf Harris .....see a likeness?

SEND
Brett Cloud
Brett Cloud1 years ago

There are 2 ways I see the process failing:

1) A wishy-washy verdict. A la OJ

2) Bill Cosby dies before the verdict is given.

If I recall correctly, the deceased defendant gets a NOT GUILTY verdict. The only 'good' thing I can see here, is that a higher court will give the verdict.

SEND
Brett Cloud
Brett Cloud1 years ago

Kathryn Irby, I call them as I see them. I grew up w/ Bill Cosby as a funny role model. Now I hear some VERY NOT NICE stuff. If it's true--court of law hasn't ruled either way yet--he deserves the worst or judicial system can give him! If NOT found guilty, he deserves to walk. That's the way our system --is supposed to--work. You however, have ALREADY --in your mind-- given the verdict!

SEND
Kathryn Irby
Past Member 1 years ago

Marc P., what does one have to do with the other, prey tell? Hardly a comparison.

SEND
Kathryn Irby
Past Member 1 years ago

Old Man, you can hang it up because your immoral acts/abuse of over 50 women shall become your Legacy; just knowing that alone, makes me sleep better at night. Thanks for sharing.

SEND
Kathryn Irby
Past Member 1 years ago

Marc P., it's merely your opinion as to whether or not my "comment" is "unethical." I call it as I see it, plain and simple. Go yank on someone else's chain!

SEND
pam w.
pam w1 years ago

For a man with his monumental ego, Cosby's life is essentially ruined...trial, conviction or not.

SEND