In the first criminal case to be brought against Bill Cosby amid a flood of accusations against the comedian, Cosby was charged today with felony sexual assault in connection with a 2004 incident in which he is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home near Philadelphia, Reuters reports.
The charge comes just before the statute of limitations was set to run out in January, the report notes.
“An arrest warrant was issued for Cosby, Montgomery County First Assistant District Attorney Kevin R. Steele told a news conference,” Reuters reports.
Said Steele: “Today, after examination of all the evidence, we are able to seek justice on behalf of the victim.”
Cosby was charged with aggravated indecent assault, a first-degree felony.
The AP reports: “The case sets the stage for perhaps the biggest Hollywood celebrity trial of the mobile-all-the-time era and could send the 78-year-old Cosby to prison in the twilight of his life and barrier-breaking career.”
The AP adds: “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.”