Bill Cosby was charged Wednesday with criminal sexual assault stemming from a purported incident more than a decade ago in Pennsylvania. The embattled ex-sitcom star and stand-up comedian is expected to be arraigned later on Wednesday.
Kevin Steele, the district attorney-elect in Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County, said Cosby faces a felony charge of aggravated indecent assault for an incident that allegedly took place in 2004.
A former Temple University employee associated with the school’s women’s basketball program told police that the comic drugged and violated her at Cosby’s home near Philadelphia.
The previous district attorney declined to charge the 78-year-old star in 2005.
Though the statute of limitations for such a charge is 12 years, the new prosecutor reopened the case this summer.
Additional evidence stemming from the woman’s related civil case will be used, and similar allegations from dozens of purported Cosby victims was also weighed in the decision making, Steele said in a Wednesday morning press conference.
Cosby’s attorney did not immediately respond to TheWrap‘s request for comment. Cosby has previously stated under oath that he had consensual sexual contact with the woman.
The alleged victim was in such a state that one “cannot give consent,” Steele stated, after Cosby “urged” her to take pills and drink wine. Steele referred to her as being “paralyzed” in the moment.
“Reopening this case was not a question, rather [it] was our duty,” Steele explained.