Bill Cosby Charged With Aggravated Indecent Assault In Philadelphia-Area Case

December 30, 2015
In this Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, file photo, comedian Bill Cosby performs at the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts, in Melbourne, Fla.

In this Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, file photo, comedian Bill Cosby performs at the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts, in Melbourne, Fla.

Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Narrowly beating a statute of limitations deadline to file charges, prosecutors in Pennsylvania announced a felony sexual assault charge against comedian Bill Cosby Wednesday. A former Temple University employee says Cosby drugged and assaulted her in January of 2004.

Montgomery County prosecutors have charged Bill Cosby with aggravated indecent assault – a first-degree felony.

"These charges stem from a sexual assault" that occurred at Cosby's house outside of Philadelphia, prosecutor Kevin Steele said.

Steele said Cosby is expected to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon; he also urged any other victims to contact his office.

Pennsylvania has a 12-year statute of limitations on felony sex crimes, meaning prosecutors had until January to bring charges against Cosby, 78.

After the Temple employee, Andrea Constand, accused Cosby of the crime in Montgomery County, a prosecutor decided in 2005 that charges weren't warranted in the case. But that prosecutor lost his reelection bid last month to Steele, who made pursuing charges against Cosby an issue in his campaign.

Today, Steele outlined a timeline of events in 2004, saying that Cosby established a friendship with the victim and then made sexual advances that were rejected. After that, he urged her to take pills and drink wine, Steele said.

Over the past year, Cosby has been accused of sexually abusing dozens of women; earlier this month, he filed lawsuits against seven of his accusers, saying that they had made up the charges to extract money from him.

The 2005 investigation into Cosby led to a deposition in which Cosby admitted that he had "obtained the sedative Quaalude with the intent of giving the drug to women with whom he wanted to have sex, and he acknowledged giving it to at least one woman."

That testimony became public this past summer, prompting new calls for charges against Cosby. Announcing the charges today, Steele said that the decision was made after "new information" came to light in July.

Story source: NPR