Cosby Must Stand Trial on Sex Assault Charges

Faces 10 years in prison if convicted
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 24, 2016 12:07 PM CDT
Cosby Must Stand Trial on Sex Assault Charges
Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse for a preliminary hearing, Tuesday, May 24, 2016, in Norristown, Pa. Cosby is accused of drugging and molesting a woman at his home in 2004.    (Matt Rourke)

Bill Cosby was ordered Tuesday to stand trial on sexual assault charges after a hearing that hinged on a decade-old police report in which a woman said the comedian gave her three blue pills that put her in a stupor and made her unable to stop his advances. District Judge Elizabeth McHugh ruled that prosecutors had sufficient evidence to bring Cosby to trial in the lone criminal case brought against him out of the barrage of allegations that he drugged and molested dozens of women. No immediate trial date was set. Cosby, 78, could get 10 years in prison if convicted. "Mr. Cosby, good luck to you, sir," the judge said. "Thank you," said Cosby, who seemed chipper and unsurprised.

The judge set an arraignment for July 20, at which time he could enter a plea. But Cosby waived his right to appear at that proceeding, which sets the case on a trajectory for trial. The hearing was not the face-to-face confrontation between accuser and accused that some had anticipated: Andrea Constand, the former Temple University employee who said Cosby violated her at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004, was not in the courtroom, and the judge ruled that she would not have to testify. Instead, prosecutors had portions of her 2005 statement to police read into the record. "I told him, 'I can't even talk, Mr. Cosby.' I started to panic," she told police. (More details from 2005-2006 depositions in the case were unsealed.)

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