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Cosby criminally charged over alleged sexual assault at his Montgomery County home

Mug shot of Bill Cosby taken by Cheltenham Township police following his arraignment Wednesday.

Mug shot of Bill Cosby taken by Cheltenham Township police following his arraignment Wednesday.

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman and Cheltenham Township Police Chief John J. Norris announced Wednesday morning the filing of criminal charges against Bill Cosby stemming from an alleged sexual assault of a victim that occurred on an evening in early 2004 at Cosby’s residence in Cheltenham Township.

Cosby is charged with aggravated indecent assault, which is a second-degree felony. Pennsylvania has a 12-year statute of limitations for sexual assault cases.

“The charges filed today are a result of new information that came to light beginning in July 2015. After determining the statute of limitations regarding the potential criminal offense had not yet expired, an investigation was reopened. The statute of limitation for aggravated indecent assault is twelve years from the incident,” the DA’s office said in a statement.

“A prosecutor’s job is to follow the evidence wherever it leads and whenever it comes to light,” said First Assistant District Attorney Kevin R. Steele, in announcing the charges. “Upon examination of all of the evidence, today we are able to seek justice on behalf of Mr. Cosby’s victim.”

The following is contained in the affidavit and provided by Mongomery County authorities, and includes some explicit descriptions of sexual activity:

“The victim was a guest of Cosby at his home located at 8210 New Second Street in Cheltenham on the night of the incident. In the course of the evening, Cosby provided the victim with wine and three blue pills. At Cosby’s urging, the victim ingested wine and water along with the blue pills. Shortly thereafter, the victim became incapacitated, and Cosby led her to a couch. The victim lay down on the couch, and Cosby positioned himself behind her. Cosby then fondled the victim’s breasts, put his hands inside her pants, and penetrated her vagina with his fingers. During the assault, Cosby also put her hand on his erect penis. The victim did not consent to any of these acts and reported that she was unable to move or speak and felt ‘frozen’ and ‘paralyzed.’

“Within a few months of the incident, the victim moved back to her native Canada where she resided with her mother. In January 2005, the victim disclosed to her mother for the first time what Cosby had done to her. The victim and her mother reported the incident to local Canadian authorities who, in turn, notified authorities in Pennsylvania. On January 22, 2005 the victim gave a statement to the police indicating what had happened to her, including the vaginal penetration by Cosby. The initial investigation into this incident was reviewed by the former District Attorney and resulted in the February 17, 2005, announcement that no criminal charges were forthcoming.

“On July 6, 2015, U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno, pursuant to a motion from the Associated Press, unsealed certain legal filings that contained references to a deposition by Cosby in a civil case. Judge Robreno released materials in part because Cosby has a diminished privacy interest and this diminished interest is outweighed by the public interest in gaining access to his deposition testimony. The release of these documents in July and the subsequent release of Cosby’s deposition caused the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office to reopen the case. After reviewing the initial investigation, re-interviewing some witnesses, examining other evidence in the civil case and information from other alleged victims, it was determined that the evidence warranted the filing of criminal charges against Cosby.”

Cosby is expected to be arraigned later Wednesday afternoon before Magisterial District Judge Elizabeth McHugh. Judge McHugh’s Court is located at Station Mews, 7804 Montgomery Avenue, in Elkins Park

Officials ask that anyone with information regarding similar incidents with Cosby contact the Montgomery County Detective Bureau at 610-278-3368.

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