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Bill Cosby Will Stand Trial For Sexual Assault

Dozens of women have accused the comedian of attacking them, and one will finally have her day in court

Andrea Constand photographed in Toronto in December 2015. Image courtesy of Getty

A Pennsylvania judge ruled yesterday that Bill Cosby will stand trial for sexual assault.

Although nearly 60 women have come forward alleging that they were raped or sexually assaulted by Cosby over the years, the charges that will finally bring him to court stem from a 2004 incident in which he is alleged to have drugged and had non-consensual sex with a woman named Andrea Constand, who he met at his alma mater, Temple University.

Constand was the first of what has ballooned into dozens of women to publicly accuse Cosby of sexual assault. She initially reported the attack from 12 years ago back in 2005, but prosecutors declined to charge Cosby and the case was eventually settled out of court. However, Cosby’s deposition from that lawsuit was made public at the end of last year, and some startlingly incriminating statements from Cosby himself resulted in his arrest last December. The Associated Press has obtained more portions of that deposition and published several excerpts from it yesterday.

On whether or not Constand gave consent for sexual activity after he provided her with pills:

Q: So, you're not telling us that you verbally asked her for permission?

A: I didn't say it verbally, I said. The action is my hand on her midriff, which is skin. I'm not lifting any clothing up. This is, I don't remember fully what it is, but it's there and I can feel. I got her skin and it's just above the hand and it's just above where you can go under the pants.

Q: Then what happens?

A: I don't hear her say anything. And I don't feel her say anything. And so I continue and I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection. I am not stopped.

On his use of Quaaludes:

Q: When you got the quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?

A. Yes.

Cosby also talked about having an agency send “five or six” models to his studio each week while he was filming sitcoms, and one of those models, Therese Serignese, would eventually come forward with accusations that Cosby raped her in 1976. She was also one of the 35 women to appear on the cover of New York magazine last July who came forward to share their stories about being attacked.

Most of the accusations against Cosby, which go as far back as the 1960s, will never be considered in court because the statute of limitations has rendered them past prosecuting. But if he is convicted of the aggravated assault charges being brought against him by Constand, Cosby could face up to 10 years in prison.

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