Bill Cosby, iconic comedian and TV show personality, is set to stand trial in July, following new evidence that has surfaced in regards to a 2004 sexual assault allegation. Pennsylvania Judge Elizabeth McHugh determined after remarks were read in court from Cosby’s first accuser, Andrea Constand, there was sufficient cause to proceed with the trial.
The charge is three felony counts of indecent assault.
Constand is the first of over fifty women to accuse Cosby of the same crime with the same modus operandi: drugging the victim, then sexual assault. Constand’s case was first opened in 2004. She was also an employee at Temple University, Cosby’s Alma Mater, where she claimed Cosby sexually assaulted her.
The case never went to trial due to a lack of evidence, and both parties reached a settlement in 2006. With the case reopening, however, Cosby may face up to 10-years in prison if convicted. Cosby was arrested on December 30, 2015 and released on $1-million bail.
Judge McHugh’s decision was made during a pretrial hearing on Tuesday, May 24. Portions of Constand’s statements were read by Katherine Hart of the Montgomery County Detective Bureau. One statement, as reported by CNN, stated that:
“Constand said Cosby invited her to his home in 2004 and told her to wear comfortable clothes…. Constand said she was given two pills to ‘take the edge off’ and was later sexually assaulted.”
Since then, Cosby has maintained that their sexual encounter was consensual.
Cosby’s defense retorted that Hart was not there for the entirety of the statements made in 2004. Since Constand was not required to be at the trial, and therefore did not attend, the remarks amounted to “hearsay” and were not valid evidence.
The defense maintained this angle of attack, asking Hart:
“You’re basically here to tell us what somebody told another detective 11 years ago about what happened 12 years ago?”
Hart replied yes.
The first court date is set for July 20, 2016.
Featured image by Matt Rourke-Pool/Getty Images.