Bill Cosby has been charged with sexual assault.
Cosby is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his mansion in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania in January 2004 while she was an employee at Temple University.
The 78-year-old comedian previously said under oath that he had consensual sexual contact with Constand.
Montgomery County First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele announced the charge against Cosby at a press conference Wednesday morning, saying; ‘The evidence is strong and sufficient to proceed at this point.’
He then added; ‘Frozen, paralyzed, unable to move. A person in that state is unable to consent.’
Cosby will be arraigned at 4pm Wednesday afternoon in Elkins Parks, Pennsylvania on a felony charge of aggravated indecent assault.
The statute of limitations in the case was set to run out in January.
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Claims: Cosby previously said under oath that he had consensual sexual contact with Constand (above in 1987)
Breaking the news: First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele (above) announces the felony charge of aggravated indecent assault against Cosby
Steele said at the press conference on Wednesday that Cosby made two failed sexual advances towards Constand before the incident now in question.
‘He urged her to take pills he provided and drink wine,’ said Steele.
‘Unable to move or respond to his advances, he committed aggravated indecent assault.’
Constand claimed that after arriving at Cosby’s house on an evening in January 2004, the comic legend gave her three blue pills when she said she was stressed over work, which he described as ‘herbal medication’ to help her relax.
Then, according to her civil suit filed in 2005, her ‘knees began to shake, her limbs felt immobile, she felt dizzy and weak, and she began to feel only barely conscious’.
Cosby then gave her another drug, she said, and led her to the sofa, where she says she was sexually molested.
‘When Plaintiff awoke, her clothes and undergarments were in disarray,’ the suit said.
Constand later returned to her native Canada, where she reported the incident to police in January 2005.
Constand, the former director of operations for Temple’s women’s basketball team, launched her legal suit against Cosby, a man she called her ‘mentor’, in March 2005.
Now 42, she said she first met Cosby, a Temple alum, in November 2002 and the pair became friends and she was a frequent guest at dinner parties at his home.
Authorities in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, followed up with an investigation after she reported the assault, but in February 2005 they declined to press criminal charges due to a lack of evidence.
Cosby settled that sexual abuse lawsuit for undisclosed terms in 2006.
Allegations: Constand (above earlier this year) claims Cosby gave her three blue pills with wine one night at his mansion and then sexually molested her
Charges: Cosby (abive in January) will be arraigned at 4pm Wednesday afternoon in Elkins Parks, Pennsylvania on a felony charge of aggravated indecent assault
Parts of Cosby’s deposition from that lawsuit however were unsealed earlier this year, in which he admitted to obtaining Quaaludes to give to women.
Cosby testified in 2005 that in the 1970s he had obtained seven prescriptions for Quaaludes, the brand name for a sedative and muscle relaxant that was widely abused as a recreational drug in the 1970s – and which featured heavily in the movie, the Wolf of Wall Street
‘When you got the Quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these Quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?’ Cosby was asked in the 2005 deposition.
‘Yes,’ he replied.
Asked whether he ever gave them to young women, his lawyers raised a lengthy series of objections.
Cosby testified later that he gave Constand one and a half pills of the over-the-counter antihistamine drug Benadryl that night at his mansion.
It was because these depositions were unsealed that prosecutors were able to reopen a case against Cosby.
More than 50 women have come forward in the past year claiming they were drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby, but this is the first criminal charges against the actor.
Steele urged those women, and others, to come forward with their stories or any information they may have during Wednesday’s press conference.
In addition to denying the allegations of these women, Cosby has also recently come out and filed lawsuits against some of them for defamation, including model Beverly Johnson,