Bill Cosby will stand trial for alleged sexual assault

  • Bill Cosby, 78, has been ordered to stand trial on sexual assault charges.
  • Alleged incident took place at Mr. Cosby’s home after pills were given to his accuser, Andrea Constand.
  • Constand did not take the stand. Instead, her affidavit was read in court by Detective Katherine Hart.
  • If convicted, Mr. Cosby faces up to 10 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.

Comedian and actor William Henry Cosby Jr., commonly known as Bill Cosby, has been ordered by Judge Elizabeth McHugh to stand trial on charges of sexual assault. Mr. Cosby, 78, head the judge’s decision at the Norristown, Pennsylvania, United States courtroom on Tuesday after Montgomery County prosecutors presented their case to the judge, explaining why they believed that had enough evidence to proceed. The County prosecutors chose not to call Mr. Cosby’s accuser to the stand, instead having Detective Katherine Hart read the affidavit the alleged victim, Andrea Constand, gave when she reported the alleged assault.

REUTERS/Matt Rourke

After hearing the judge’s decision, Mr. Cosby chose to waive his right to a formal arraignment, which would have taken place on the 20th July. Cosby faces three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault and is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his house during January of 2004. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a $30,000 (£20,500) fine.

Mr. Cosby’s lawyer Brian McMonagle called the proceedings a “travesty of justice,” later stating: “They [the prosecution] had 12 years to bring a case, they didn’t. And what [the prosecution] presented today was evidence of nothing.

“There was no evidence of a crime here. And the inconsistencies that plagued this investigation from the beginning continue to plague it now. This case should end immediately.”

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said that Andrea Constand would be testifying at the trial. In her affidavit, Constand told police that Cosby gave her alcohol and ‘pills’ before sexually assaulting her whilst she lay unconscious. Constand has not yet commented on the judge’s decision, but did tell police: “I got scared … I had no strength in my legs. They felt rubbery and like jelly. I felt spacey. Everything was blurry or dizzy,” later telling police “I told him, ‘I can’t even talk, Mr. Cosby.’ I started to panic.”

REUTERS/Mark Makela
REUTERS/Mark Makela

The alleged assault occurred after Constand arrived at Cosby’s home and was greeted by the actor. The two discussed Constand’s future and claims she told Cosby that she was feeling “drained” and “emotionally occupied.” According to Constand, Cosby then went to another room and returned with three blue pills, telling Constand “these will make you feel good. The blue things take the edge off.”

The affidavit of probable cause states that Cosby then told Constand to drink wine. A short time passed and she began to have difficulty speaking and seeing. It was after this that the alleged incident took place, with Cosby telling Constand to lie down on the couch. The exact wording from the affidavit of probable hearing, is “fondling her breasts, put his hands into her pants, and penetrated her vagina with his fingers.”

Constand claims she woke up approximately four hours later, sometime around 4:00 AM, and realised her bra was undone and the jumper above her breasts was “bunched up.” The statement also claims Cosby was standing in a robe whilst holding a muffin. As she was leaving, Cosby handed her the muffin and said “Alright.”

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