Bill Cosby ordered to stand trial in 2004 sexual assault case

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Bill Cosby entered a Pennsylvania court Tuesday morning for his first pretrial hearing related to assault charges.

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — A Pennsylvania judge has found sufficient evidence to hold Bill Cosby on felony indecent assault charges in the case involving Andrea Constand.
The case will now go to trial. Cosby’s next court date will be July 20.

Cosby faces three counts of felony indecent assault from a 2004 case involving Andrea Constand, an employee at his alma mater, Temple University.

If convicted, Cosby could face up to 10 years in prison.The case

Constand, a former basketball coach at Temple, said that during a 2004 visit to the comedian’s Philadelphia home, she was given pills and wine that left her hardly able to remain conscious — let alone consent to sex.

She was the first person to publicly allege sexual assault by Cosby.

After going to police, authorities declined to charge Cosby.

Bruce Castor, the Montgomery County district attorney at the time of the alleged incident, did not file sexual assault charges against Cosby, citing “insufficient credible and admissible evidence.”

So why now?

The parties reached a civil settlement in 2006, but the case was reopened as new evidence came to light, including the number of other accusers coming forward and some of his remarks during a 2005 deposition that were recently unsealed.

The newly elected prosecutor in Montgomery County, Kevin Steele, turned the Cosby case into an election issue. He promptly reopened it after taking office.

Cosby was charged with three felonies and arraigned in December, then released on $1 million bond.

What Cosby’s side is saying

Cosby denies the allegations, and his lawyers contend that the new charges should be dismissed because, among other things, Castor announced in 2005 that Cosby wouldn’t be prosecuted.

Cosby sued Constand in February, claiming she violated terms of the 2006 settlement.

On Monday, a judge denied Cosby’s requested to stay court proceedings in the case.

Other accusers

Cosby has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 50 women.

On Friday, a federal judge unsealed Camille Cosby’s February deposition in a Massachusetts lawsuit filed against her husband.

At one point, she told a lawyer she had “no opinion” on whether Cosby’s admission to the alleged procurement of Quaaludes for women he wanted to have sex with violated their marriage vows.

Cosby has denied he sexually assaulted any women.