Bill Cosby will stand trial for alleged sexual offences, more than a decade after he was first accused of abusing Temple University employee Andrea Constand. Appearing at a lengthy preliminary hearing in Pennsylvania on Tuesday (24 May), the entertainer was told there was enough evidence to proceed with prosecution. He is next due in court on 20 July.
Constand claims Cosby drugged and abused her at his Pennsylvania home in January 2004. She first told police of the alleged violation in 2005 in which, during her interview, she claimed Cosby – one of the world's biggest stars in the 1980s – invited her to his home to discuss her future when he plied her with wine and took advantage of her. Cosby said the encounter was consensual.
Her claim sparked an avalanche of similar complaints, all denied by Cosby, that he abused more than 50 other women. However, the 78-year-old is currently only being prosecuted for alleged crimes against Constand, with some of his alleged victims either refusing to make a police statement or their complaints having reached statute limitations and now expired. Cosby maintains any sexual contact with his accusers was consensual.
In total he faces three second-degree felony charges of aggravated indecent assault. The crimes carry up to 10 years in prison.