In a surprising turn of events, an arrest warrant was issued for Bill Cosby for sexual assault. Women have been accusing Cosby of sexual assault for what seems like an eternity, but the comedian has remained consequence-free — at least criminally — until this week.
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On Wednesday, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office charged Cosby with three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault, reported CNN.
The charges stemmed from a 2004 accusation by Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee. She alleged that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her when she visited his home in suburban Philadelphia. At the time, prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to charge Cosby with a crime.
This week, however, newly elected Montgomery County prosecutor Kevin Steele said charging Cosby “was the right thing to do” after his office reviewed the old evidence.
According to CNN, “A probable cause affidavit filed by investigators this week alleges that Cosby ‘sought to incapacitate’ Constand by giving her a mix of pills and wine that sent her slipping in and out of consciousness and left her unable to consent to sexual activity.”
Cosby appeared in court, where bail was set at $1 million and the judge required him to surrender his passport. He did not enter a plea, but said he understood the charges when asked — with a big smile on his face, reported CNN.
“The charge by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office came as no surprise, filed 12 years after the alleged incident and coming on the heels of a hotly contested election for this county’s DA during which this case was made the focal point,” his attorneys said via a statement. “Make no mistake, we intend to mount a vigorous defense against this unjustified charge and we expect that Mr. Cosby will be exonerated by a court of law.”
Constand was the first woman to publicly come forward and accuse Cosby of sexual assault. People noted that Constand said she rejected Cosby’s advances twice, so he used wine and pills to have his way with her.
Following her claim, over 50 women have made similar accusations. Five months ago, New York Magazine profiled 35 of the women who shared their stories. Some of the alleged assaults occurred as early as the 1960s.
In July of this year, the Associated Press obtained and released transcripts from Constand’s 2006 civil trial, during which Cosby admitted he gave women Quaaludes. He claimed, however, that the sex that followed was consensual.
Exactly how many women must accuse a celebrity of sexual assault before he faces consequences? Seems to be that the answer is quite a few when the celebrity is a beloved family show character, because it’s taken over 10 years and over 50 women speaking out during that time to see him finally face criminal charges in one case. The statue of limitations on Constand’s claims expires this January, so the charges were filed in the nick of time.
Even with women coming forward for the past 10 years, nothing really happened until 2014, when comedian Hannibal Buress called Cosby a rapist during a stand-up routine at Philadelphia’s Trocadero. The YouTube video went viral and so began the downfall of Cliff Huxtable.
Cosby’s wife has stood by him the entire time and while he seemed to enjoy a long and fruitful career as a(n alleged) sexual predator, he finally began to experience the financial impact as a result of the claims. His last tour was cancelled and TV networks decided to stop airing “The Cosby Show.” Cosby’s statue was even removed from Walt Disney World in Orlando.
Hopefully the prosecutors will be successful in their case. I know I’d enjoy seeing this jerk being held criminally accountable for even one accusation, and I don’t care how frail, sad, or old he’s described as looking. He has it coming.