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Bill Cosby in Court to Face Sexual Assault Charges

  • VOA Staff

FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2014 file photo, entertainer Bill Cosby pauses during a news conference.

FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2014 file photo, entertainer Bill Cosby pauses during a news conference.

U.S. comedian Bill Cosby appeared in a Pennsylvania courtroom Wednesday to be arraigned on criminal charges stemming from the alleged sexual assault of a woman in 2004.

Prosecutors in Montgomery County announced that Cosby is being charged with "aggravated indecent assault." First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele noted that the charge is a felony.

If found guilty, he could face up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

The case deals with a former Temple University employee who told police Cosby drugged and violated her at his home near Philadelphia.

A statement from the district attorney's office said the woman, at Cosby's urging, ingested three blue pills with wine and water, leaving her unable to move or speak during the alleged assault.

She had accused Cosby of assaulting her back in 2005 but police at the time decline to file charges.

"The charges filed today are the result of new information that came to light beginning in July 2015," Steele said.

Cosby, 78, has denied allegations from numerous women who have accused the entertainer of sexual assault and rape.

The earliest alleged incidents took place in the mid-1960s, and with many alleged to have been drug-facilitated.

Court documents show Cosby admitted under oath that he obtained quaalude pills to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex. But he has insisted these encounters were consensual.

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