Bill Cosby will stand trial on charges that he sexually assaulted Andrea Constand in 2004. Cosby's attorneys had been attempting to get the charges dismissed, but a judge has ruled that the trial can move forward.
The Times reports that Judge Elizabeth A. McHugh's decision was announced in the Montgomery County Courthouse in Pennsylvania today. In December, the 78-year-old comedian was arrested on charges of aggravated indecent assault, after Constand accused Cosby, who was her mentor at the time, of drugging and raping her while she was working as operations manager for the Temple University women’s basketball team.
Constand, who came forward in 2005 but had her claims dismissed by a district attorney, says Cosby invited her to his home one night in 2004 to discuss "future plans." He allegedly gave her three blue pills because "he wanted her to relax," soon after giving her a glass of wine. Constand told police she "lost all strength in her legs," and her vision went blurry.
According to an affidavit: "Despite her impaired physical and mental condition, the victim was aware that Cosby was fondling her breasts, put his hands into her pants and penetrated her vagina with his fingers...Cosby also took the victim’s right hand and placed it onto his erect penis."
Cosby's attorneys have argued that the charges don't stand thanks to the former district attorney's decision in 2005 not to pursue them. A civil suit brought by Constand that year was privately settled; Cosby gave a deposition in which he "spoke freely," though Cosby's attorneys have been fighting to keep that testimony out of the trial.
Constand is one of nearly 50 women who have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, many of whom say the comedian drugged and raped or assaulted them. A number of women have filed civil defamation suits against Cosby, after he accused them of lying when they came forward about the assaults.