Beloved comedian Bill Cosby has found himself in a mess, but how did it all start and where is it likely headed. Catch up on the strange details of the case in our summary below.
In 2004, Cosby was accused of sexual assault by Andrea Constand, a former college and US national team basketball player. The accusations resulted from an evening Constand spent at Cosby’s house after a night out with her friends. Constand stated that Cosby invited her over and specifically told her to “wear comfortable clothes.”
Constand noted that she had been struggling with personal issues and Cosby invited her to confide in him while he poured her a glass of wine. He then urged her to take a few pills to “take the edge off.” Moments later, Constand claimed that her vision went blurry and thought she was having an allergic reaction. She then recalled that she went in and out of consciousness while Cosby sexually assaulted her.
Constand was the first person to publicly claim sexual assault by Cosby, but she wouldn’t be the last. In 2005, a criminal investigation was opened based on those accusations. About a month later, the District Attorney found there to be insufficient credible and admissible evidence and the case was dropped.
This disappointment didn’t stop Constand from filing further claims. In March 2005 she filed a civil claim, this time with the support of 13 other women as potential corroborating witnesses if the case made it to court. Bill Cosby denied all allegations and settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
Now more than a decade after Cosby was first accused of sexual assault, the case was reopened as new evidence came to light. This included a number of accusers who came forward, as well as the damning release of Cosby’s remarks in a 2005 disposition that were recently unsealed.
The new information sparked a huge amount of media speculation and bad press for the once highly admired comedian who positioned himself as a social conscious family man. When it was clear the accusers and their stunning accusations were not going away, the public and many other celebrities began to publicly turn on Cosby.
After Cosby was formally charged with sexual assault by Pennsylvania prosectors, producer and director Judd Apatow unleashed a barrage of tweets casting doubt on the credulity of Cosby’s denials and those of his supporters in just one well-publicized incident. But even then it was unclear if Cosby would ultimately have to face up to the most of the accusations in a criminal court due to concerns about the statue of limitations.
However, this week a judge has confirmed that Cosby must stand trial for the original accusations Constand made in 2004. He is facing three counts of felony aggravated assault from Constand’s case in 2004, each charge carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Cosby’s defense attorney bashed the decision to move forward with a trial, questioning the amount of time and legitimate evidence presented to bring his client to trial. Constand was not in court for Cosby’s hearing, a fact that Cosby’s defense tried to capitalize on, to little effect.
Cosby has maintained his innocence throughout, despite being accused by more than 50 women for various types of sexual misconduct, and will not stand trial for the majority of the cases due to the fact that the statues of limitations have passed.