Cosby to stand trial in sex assault case

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A US judge has ordered actor and comedian Bill Cosby to stand trial on charges of sexual assault.

Mr Cosby, 78, is accused of drugging and molesting a former Temple University employee in his home near Philadelphia in 2004.

The case was reopened last year after more than 40 women came forward with similar accusations. No trial date has been set.

Mr Cosby has maintained that all of the encounters were consensual.

During the hearing, Mr Cosby’s lawyer had a heated exchanged with the judge over police reading a statement from the accuser, Andrea Constand.

Brian McMonagle, one of Mr Cosby’s lawyers, argued that Ms Constand, who lives in Toronto, should have testified in person and called her statement “hearsay”.

“I told him, ‘I can’t talk, Mr Cosby’. I started to panic,” Ms Constand said in the statement.

She described how Mr Cosby allegedly sexually violated her after giving her three blue pills. She said the pills made her dizzy and made her legs “like jelly”.

Mr Cosby said in a statement read in court that she never told him to stop during the encounter.

 

Andrea Constand says she was assaulted by Mr Cosby in 2004
Andrea Constand says she was assaulted by Mr Cosby in 2004

More than 40 women have accused Mr Cosby of sexual assault, but in nearly all of the cases too much time has elapsed for charges to be pursued.

The Constand case is unusual in that it fell within the statute of limitations for charges.

He is facing civil lawsuits in other states over the other accusations. Mr Cosby is free on $1m bail.

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