Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Bill Cosby charged in 2004 sex assault case; lawyers promise ‘vigorous defense’ against ‘unjustified charge’

For years, women — dozens of them — have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault, with incidents dating back to the 1960s. Now, for the first time, Cosby is facing criminal charges in connection with one of those accusations, Montgomery County prosecutors in Pennsylvania announced on Wednesday.
Prosecutors charged Cosbywith aggravated indecent assault in connection with an alleged sexual assault in early 2004, First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele said in a morning press conference.
Aggravated indecent assault is a second degree felony.
“Today, after examination of all the evidence, we are able to seek justice on behalf of the victim,” Steele said. Prosecutors launched a new investigation into the allegations against Cosby after new information about the case emerged in July, he said. The 12-year statute of limitations to file felony charges in connection to those allegations expires in January.
Attorneys for Cosby said that they would “mount a vigorous defense.”
“The charge by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office came as no surprise, filed 12 years after the alleged incident and coming on the heels of a hotly contested election for this county’s DA during which this case was made the focal point,” Cosby’s attorneys said in a Wednesday afternoon statement released to several media outlets, including CNN.
“Make no mistake, we intend to mount a vigorous defense against this unjustified charge and we expect that Mr. Cosby will be exonerated by a court of law.”
According to the criminal complaint, Cosby faces three counts of the indecent assault charge: assault without consent, assault when the complainant is unconscious or unaware that penetration is occurring, and assault when the person impairs the complainant.
[‘You are a very sick man': Bill Cosby’s accuser and the full details from the criminal complaint]
Reporters waited for hours outside the small courthouse in Elkins Park,where Cosby arrived in a black-and-white hooded sweater on Wednesday afternoon for his arraignment.
Cosby’s bail was set at $1 million, and he posted the required 10 percent of that amount on Wednesday.
Cosby, 78, approached the courthouse slowly with a cane. He entered the one-story brick magistrate court building at 2:30 p.m., nearly tripping over the threshold. His first word uttered in the modest courtroom was “steps.”
He was accompanied by his attorney, Brian McMonagle, a well-known Philadelphia area criminal defense lawyer, and Monique Pressley, a Washington lawyer who serves as a Cosby spokeswoman.
Inside the tiny courthouse, Cosby said little as he surrendered his bent and wrinkled passport. When Magisterial District Judge Elizabeth McHugh asked Cosby if he understood that, as a condition of bail, he was to have no contact with the alleged victim, he gave the judge a big smile and said, “yes.”
The comedian was also instructed not to Tweet or have any relatives comment on the alleged victim.
The judge set a preliminary hearing for Jan. 14 and said that it was likely that hearing would be held at the Montgomery County courthouse in Norristown.
After the arraignment, Cosby left the courthouse for his next stop: the Cheltenham police department for booking. As he arrived there, a small crowd shouted, saying that the comedian is a “monster.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.