News / USA

    Bill Cosby Charged with Sexually Assaulting Woman from Alma Mater

    Bill Cosby arrives at court to face a felony charge of aggravated indecent assault on Dec. 30, 2015, in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.
    Bill Cosby arrives at court to face a felony charge of aggravated indecent assault on Dec. 30, 2015, in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.
    VOA News

    U.S. comedian Bill Cosby was charged Wednesday with sexually assaulting a woman in 2004 after allegedly giving her wine and pills that left her unable to fight back.

    The 78-year-old Cosby walked into a courthouse outside Philadelphia with a cane and was flanked by his lawyers.

    Cosby was charged with aggravated indecent assault — a felony that could result in 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine if he is convicted. He did not enter a plea, but Cosby and his lawyers have consistently denied charges of sexual misconduct.

    The charges:  Bill Cosby was charged Wednesday with aggravated indecent assault, a felony.

    The accuser:  Andrea Constand, a former employee of Pennsylvania's Temple University, has accused Cosby of tricking her into taking drugs before sexually assaulting her at his home in Philadelphia in 2004.

    The case: When Constand filed the initial complaint against Cosby in 2005, police refused to file charges against the celebrity comedian. In 2005, Constand filed a civil lawsuit against Cosby. Court papers say 13 other women with similar allegations were prepared to testify as anonymous "Jane Doe" witnesses against him.  The case was settled out of court.

    Possible punishment:  Cosby could face up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted.

    Other accusers:  Some 50 women have accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them over a 40-year period; but, in most cases, it is too late for criminal charges to be filed. 

    Cosby was freed on $1 million bail and said nothing to reporters shouting questions as he entered and left the courthouse.

    More than 50 women say Cosby sexually assaulted them in incidents dating back to the 1960s, when he first emerged as a comedy star.

    The case announced Wednesday involves Andrea Constand, a former basketball team manager at Temple University in Philadelphia, Cosby's alma mater.

    Constand said she approached the comedian in 2004 for career advice. She said Cosby invited her to his suburban Philadelphia home, gave her wine, and urged her to take three blue pills.

    Constand said she soon found herself unable to move or speak while Cosby fondled her. Constand settled a civil lawsuit against Cosby in 2006.

    Cosby said during that suit that he and Constand had consensual sex. He admitted obtaining quaalude pills to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex, but insisted the encounters he had with women were consensual.

    The allegations have destroyed Cosby's image as the good-natured storyteller and family man he developed over five decades as a major television comedy star.

    The 1980's series The Cosby Show, in which he played a successful doctor, was television's highest-rated program for a number of years, but is scarcely seen in rebroadcasts.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    by: Anonymous
    December 31, 2015 12:24 PM
    Jail the creep-rapist before he dies of natural causes.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    December 31, 2015 7:30 AM
    Haba USA! 11 years on, and this is when to remember that Bill Cosby had illegal sex relationship with her? That’s not a way to be American. What kept this lady from reporting the issue for the past 11 to 12 years until now? Why hasn’t that same reason kept her from exposing herself in 2015?

    I think this has to do with the American religion to which public images, the celebrities, must belong, otherwise no deal There’s no other way to convince me that this lady kept her deal secret all this while only deciding now to expose it, notwithstanding the damage to her image to her own detriment, and of being considered an accessory to the crime, hence she connived to hide it for the whole time.

    If the American system doesn’t charge her with connivance and collaboration with Bill Cosby in committing and hiding the crime. If she doesn’t get charged, then something is wrong somewhere, mostly a setup trying to force Bill Cosby to pay dearly for thriving in the business exclusive to members of the American party and refusing to join in. Check it out.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora