Bill Cosby was arraigned Wednesday on charges he sexually assaulted a woman who came to his home in 2004. Bail for the famous comedian was set a $1 million after he did not enter a plea in a Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, courtroom.
The statute of limitations for pursuing the charges against Cosby was set to expire at the end of January, Fox News reported. Cosby turned over his passport and a preliminary hearing has been set for January 14.
“In the course of their association, the victim came to consider Mr. Cosby a mentor and a friend,” said First Assistant Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele, explaining in the Philadelphia Enquirer that the accuser, Andrea Constand, said Cosby fed her pills and wine, “the effect of which rendered her unable to move.”
Constand, now 42 and living in Toronto, had been working as an operations manager for Temple University’s women’s basketball team in 2004, and met Cosby because he was a booster for the school. The Philadelphia Enquirer reported Constand initially reported the incident in 2005, but prosecutors, lacking evidence, let the case lag.
She said specifically the entertainer drugged her with quaaludes and sexually assaulted her at his Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, mansion in January of 2004. The case was reopened by District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman after dozens of women came forward in recent months to accuse the entertainer of similar behavior, some dating back decades.
“A prosecutor’s job is to follow the evidence wherever it leads,” said Steele, during his televised news conference. “Upon examination of all the evidence, today we are able to seek justice on behalf of Mr. Cosby’s victim.”
Steele said the exact charge to Cosby was one of aggravated indecent assault, a felony, Fox News reported. He also made clear the arrest is only on one charge, involving one woman.
Constand, meanwhile, has “indicated she is willing to cooperate” with prosecutors and testify, Steele said, during the news broadcast. And she said similarly, through her attorney, in an interview with People magazine.
“Obviously, we appreciate the expression of [prosecutors’] confidence in her,” said Dolores Troiani, Costand’s attorney, in People magazine. “We’ll have to see what happens. We hope justice will be done. We will cooperate fully.”
Cosby has previously stated his sexual relationship with Constand was consensual. But in a court filing a few months ago, Constand said she had actually been in a relationship with a woman at the time of her visit to Cosby’s mansion and that he was a “narcissist” who ignored her obvious “gay” preferences, People reported.
Cosby has been plagued in recent months by more than 50 accusations from different women who say he drugged and sexually assaulted them over the years. Prosecutors said they’re looking into those cases as well, and more charges could follow. Cosby, however, has maintained innocence in all those accusations, and has even filed counter-suits alleging defamation against some of the women.