Bill Cosby charged in sexual assault case

Dr. Camille Cosby

On December 15, Cosby sued Beverly Johnson, a pioneering African-American supermodel who accused Cosby in 2014 of sexual misconduct that she says happened years ago; Johnson says the comedian drugged and tried to rape her at her NY home in the mid-1980s.

The women were mostly from the world of modeling, acting or other entertainment fields, and Cosby or his representatives denied their allegations, accusing some of them of trying to extract money from him or get ahead in show business.

A message left with one of Cosby's civil attorneys was not immediately returned. "We examined all the evidence and we made this determination because it was the right thing to do", he said during a press conference this morning.

Steele says that after seeing the deposition material "reopening this case was not a question, rather it was our duty".

Prosecutors re-examined the original investigation in light of the new documents, re-interviewed some witnesses and chose to pursue the criminal charge. Prosecutors say that the woman worked for Temple University, and had viewed Cosby as a sort of mentor.

The charges were announced only days before the 12-year statute of limitations would have shielded Cosby from prosecution.

Montgomery County authorities investigated the case back in 2004 only to reject it, citing a lack of evidence.

Steele said Wednesday that he gave the victim "three blue pills", but could not say whether they were Quaaludes, as investigators have previously noted.

Prosecutors say the comedian urged the former Temple University employee to take pills he had and to drink wine. "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'".

Another Twitter user Barbara E. Allen (@BA1245) wrote: "Why is it that Bill Cosby can be charged but the cop who murdered Tamir Rice's can't?"

This is the first criminal charge levied against Cosby since the allegations first arose.

Montgomery County's incoming District Attorney Kevin Steele promised during his campaign to be "tough" on Bill Cosby over allegations that he sexually assaulted a number of victims and just one month after getting elected he's moving forward with that promise.

Lawyers for Cosby did not immediately respond to the charge. Constand eventually settled a lawsuit against Cosby in 2006 on confidential terms.

A previous district attorney, Bruce Castor Jr., declined to press charges, saying that there were inconsistencies in Constand's claims. Rendered incapacitated by the drugs - a sworn deposition indicated he obtained quaaludes to give to women before having sex - Cosby allegedly fondled and inappropriately touched Constand.

"The evidence is strong and sufficient to proceed at this point", he added.

The newly public information also supported that conclusion, according to prosecutors.

Several dozen women have come forward over the past two years claiming that they had been drugged or sexually assaulted by Cosby, however, no charges had been made.

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