"America's Dad" Will Be Charged With Sexual Assualt
The entertainer once known as “America’s Dad,” was arraigned Wednesday (Dec. 30) on felony
charges stemming from an incident where he allegedly drugged and violated a former Temple University employee 12 years ago. Smiling and clutching to a cane, William “Bill” Cosby walked into a Montgomery County courthouse in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, just outside Philadelphia, for a brief hearing that lasted less than 10 minutes.
Cosby, 78, did not appear visibly moved as Judge Elizabeth McHugh read out the three second-degree felony charges of aggravated indecent assault. Asked if he understood the charges, Cosby replied “Yes.” The charges were filed just days before the 12-year statute of limitations was set to run out. “After examination of all the evidence,
we are able to seek justice on behalf of the victim,” announced the County District Attorney-elect Kevin Steele.
The criminal investigation in Montgomery County was reopened in July after new evidence came to light, Steele
said. Cosby’s bail was set at $1 million. After posting 10 percent in cash of the $1m bond, Cosby was ordered to surrender his passport. The embattled and disgraced comedian faces up to 10 years in prison for each charge if convicted. "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," his attorney Monique Pressley said in a statement. Cosby’s sexual assault allegations began mounting last year. More than 50 other women that include aspiring actresses and supermodels Beverly Johnson and Janice Dickinson have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct— with dozens of others alleging they were drugged when the fallen TV star raped them. As for potential criminal charges, however,
many of the alleged assaults date back decades, meaning the statute of limitations has expired in nearly every case.
But legal battles still loom. At least one Cosby’s accuser, Lili Bernard, an actress, whose alleged rape took place in the early 1990s, lives in New Jersey, a state where there is no statute of limitations on sexual assault. She reported
the assault to the Atlantic City Police Department in 2015. “After he had won my complete trust and adoration he drugged me and raped me,” Bernard said in statement in May of 2015. Nonetheless, Cosby’s reputation has
taken a severe beaten and ultimately damaged his long career on television. Though his estimated to be worth a whopping $400 million, some sources predict his net worth may significantly plummet while embroiled in multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. Moreover, Cosby’s main source of income comes from The Cosby Show, which
ran from 1984 to 1992, but after a barrage of rape allegations that have plagued the comedian in recent months, several TV networks pulled reruns of The Cosby Show. The list of cancelled Bill Cosby shows continued
to grow including a Netflix special set to air last Nov., the day after Thanksgiving titled Bill Cosby at 77. Consequently, his standup tours and speaking engagements in which he could command minimum fee was $100,000 have dwindled away like echoes down a valley of rocks. The Navy also stripped him of his honorary chief petty officer designation; Brown University revoked his honorary degree. "It has become clear, by his own admission
in legal depositions that became public this summer, that Mr. Cosby has engaged in conduct with women that is
contrary to the values of Brown and the qualities for which he was honored by the University in 1985," President Christina Paxson announced in an email to the campus in September. Cosby has repeatedly denied the rape allegations. But as new evidence resurfaced, Steele, a top deputy in the DA’s office said, “Reopening [the latest] case” against Cosby “was our duty as law enforcement officers.” Andrea Constand, the former Temple University employee at the center of the 2005 sexual battery lawsuit against Cosby, indicated, “she is willing to cooperate with [the DA’s office] going forward.” Cosby is due back in court January 14, 2016