ELKINS PARK, Pa. (AP) — Bill Cosby was arrested and charged Wednesday with drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home 12 years ago – the first criminal case brought against the comedian out of the torrent of allegations that destroyed his good-guy image as America’s Dad.
The case sets the stage for perhaps the biggest Hollywood celebrity trial of the mobile-news era and could send the 78-year-old Cosby to prison in the twilight of his life and pioneering career.
Prosecutors accused him of plying former Temple University employee Andrea Constand with pills and wine, then penetrating her with his fingers without her consent, while she was drifting in and out of consciousness, unable to resist or cry out.
She was “frozen, paralyzed, unable to move,” Montgomery County District Attorney-elect Kevin Steele said. In court papers, prosecutors said the drugs were the cold medicine Benadryl or some other, unidentified substance. Steele noted that Cosby has admitted giving quaaludes to women he wanted to have sex with.
The TV star acknowledged under oath a decade ago that he had sexual contact with Constand but said it was consensual.
Cosby had no comment on his way in and out of court as he was arraigned on a charge of aggravated indecent assault, punishable by five to 10 years behind bars and a $25,000 fine. He did not have to enter a plea and was allowed to remain free on $1 million bail for another hearing Jan. 14.