Bill Cosby last year. AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File
Bill Cosby has been charged with aggravated indecent assault for allegedly drugging and penetrating a Temple University employee in 2004, the Montgomery County District Attorney's office announced at a Wednesday press conference. Although several dozen women have publicly claimed that the 78-year-old comedian and former Beloved American sexually assaulted them, this is the first time authorities have charged Cosby with a crime related to rape allegations.
Andrea Constand, who once worked with the Philadelphia college's basketball program, made the first formal sexual assault allegation against the comedian a decade ago, and says she was at Cosby's suburban home in 2004 when he offered her three blue pills and a glass of wine, led her to a couch, and positioned himself behind her.
"Cosby then fondled the victim's breasts, put his hands inside her pants, and penetrated her vagina with his fingers," according to a press release issued Wednesday by the district attorney's office. "During the assault, Cosby also put her hand on his erect penis. The victim did not consent to any of these acts and reported that she was unable to move or speak and felt 'frozen' and 'paralyzed.'" Cosby has claimed that the two had sex, but it was consensual.
According to an affidavit, Constand says she woke up in Cosby's house at about 4 AM to discover her sweater was bunched up and her bra was undone. Cosby allegedly gave her a blueberry muffin, walked to the front door, and said, "Alright."
Constand originally came forward in 2005, but the district attorney's office declined to pursue Cosby. She filed a civil suit and received a settlement in 2006, but in July 2015, a deposition related to the case was unsealed, and the Montgomery District Attorney's Office decided to look into it again. The statute of limitations was set to expire in January, according to NBC News. Cosby also recently filed defamation suits against several of his accusers.
"I think that I'm a pretty decent reader of people and their emotions in these romantic sexual things, whatever you want to call them," Cosby said in the decade-old deposition. In contrast, a 2006 motion by Constand's lawyer said the man was a narcissist who didn't realize her client was gay.
Also during those four days of questioning, Cosby admitted to using a combination of quaaludes and his fame to seduce women. On Wednesday afternoon, he was arraigned, forced to hand over his passport, and released on $1 million bail. In the press release, the district attorney's office urged anyone who had a similar encounter with Cosby to contact them.
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This post has been updated.