Friday 28 October 2016

Arrest warrant issued for Bill Cosby in alleged sexual assault charge

Sasha Brady

Published 30/12/2015 | 15:07

Bill Cosby is set to be prosecuted for alleged sexual assualt.
Bill Cosby is set to be prosecuted for alleged sexual assualt.

An arrest warrant has been issued for embattled comedian Bill Cosby after he was hit with an indecent assault charge on Wednesday.

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Andrea Constand filed a civil suit against Cosby, claiming he drugged and sexually assaulted her at his mansion in Pennsylvania in January, 2004 and the case was settled out of the court in 2006 on confidential terms.

Detectives recently reopened a criminal investigation into the matter, and on Wednesday Cosby was charged by prosecutors in Pennsylvania with aggravated indecent assault. He was expected to be arraigned later on Wednesday.

Constand's lawyer Dolores Troiani praised prosecutors to, telling the publication, "Obviously we appreciate the expression of confidence in her... We'll have to see what happens. We hope justice will be done. We will cooperate fully."

Cosby's deposition in the civil suit was made public earlier this year and in the testimony, he confessed to buying sedatives to give to women he wanted to sleep with.

It's the first criminal case against Cosby over his alleged sexual assualt of women. The 78-year-old comedian previously said under oath that he had consensual sexual contact with the woman.

Prosecutors reopened the case over the summer as damaging testimony was unsealed in a related civil lawsuit against Cosby and as dozens of other women came forward with similar accusations.

Many of the alleged assaults date back decades, and the statute of limitations for bringing charges has expired in nearly every case. But Pennsylvania law gives prosecutors up to 12 years for some sex crimes, with the clock running out on this case in January.

Much like the high-profile British names facing questions in the wake of the Jimmy Saville scandal, it is only now that his alleged victims’ claims are being listened to with any degree of seriousness.

Since the allegations emerged, Cosby's career has unravelled, with nearly a dozen performances cancelled in his stand-up comedy tour.

NBC has said it will not move forward with a Cosby sitcom that was under development, and Netflix indefinitely postponed a special that was set to premiere earlier in the year.

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