Prosecutors of the state of Pennsylvania stated on Tuesday that the trial on Bill Cosby’s sexual harassment against Andrea Constand may proceed as normal.
The lawsuit came 11 years after Cosby allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted Constand in his home. The case was initially brought forward in 2005, but the prosecution chose to not to pursue charges. The case regained momentum last year when several other cases of sexual harassment committed by the TV celebrity came to light.
The decision was taken by Judge Elizabeth A. McHugh as it is a mandatory procedure in Pennsylvania legislation. She wished Cosby good luck as he is expected to face trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse later this year.
A once-beloved man’s trial
Bill Cosby was charged last December. The first iteration of an investigation regarding sexually assaulting Constand came to a halt due to not existing sufficient evidence for a trial. Supposedly, the Montgomery County D.A. committed to not prosecute Cosby due to his statements, the initial charges were dropped after a financial settlement was paid by Cosby in benefit of Constand. Cosby argued that the D.A.’s commitment would allow him to be exempt from charges but this was ruled out by Judge Steven T. O’Neill earlier this year.
The case was reopened recently as it was only two years ago that the many women that Cosby reportedly assaulted came forward to testify. Another case brought by Andrea Constand revealed that Cosby had bought quaaludes, a known date rape drug. All of these allegations are being held as evidence for the current charges.
Cosby’s lawyers are trying to find leverage by pointing out the fact that Cosby would have never provided testimony if he knew that it would be used against him. But there are plenty of accusations to go around, as at least ten other women have filed valid charges against the TV celebrity. Without taking into account the cases that are not feasible for trial, there are over 50 cases of sexual assault, to all of which Cosby pleas innocent.
According to the victims, they sought career advice with the man, then he would give them a drink or a pill, then they would wake up after or as they were being sexually abused. The modus operandi, if described by various verifiable witnesses, may be used as testimony amidst the trial. Only three of the charges are eligible for the trial.
Regarding the plethora of allegations, Bill Cosby argues that any sexual relations that may have occurred in the events were agreed upon by all participants. He chose to respond by suing the accusers for defamation, including Andrea Constand and her lawyers for tricking him and not complying with the mutual agreement on the first instance of the case.
Although similar cases end up with a 3-year sentence in average, the fact that the perpetrator drugged the victim and that it was unconscious during the crime, if convicted, Bill Cosby could a sentence of at least 30 years in prison, which would be equivalent to a life sentence for the 78-year old man.
Source: The New York Times