bill cosby

On Tuesday, a Pennsylvania judge ruled that Bill Cosby’s trial on charges of sexual assault will go forward despite his lawyers’ attempts to have the charges dismissed.

Cosby’s defense attorney, Brian McMonagle blamed the 78-year-old’s victims for not coming forward soon enough, saying, “The evidence presented today was evidence of nothing. They had 12 years to bring an accuser to confront Mr. Cosby. They chose not to.” McMonagle went on to state, “There was no evidence of a crime here,” adding, “This case should end immediately.”

Almost 60 women have accused Cosby of sexual assault, to date, though only one case has resulted in criminal charges. The statute of limitations means that, in many states, rapes that took place more than 30 years ago are not allowed to go to trial. Most of Cosby’s victims were too afraid to come forward until other women did so, meaning that it is too late, now, to prosecute.

Currently, he faces three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault from a 2004 case involving Andrea Constand, an athletics administrator at Temple University, Cosby’s alma mater. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. If the judge chooses to have him serve the sentences concurrently, he could serve 10 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

The Altantic reports:

“In January of 2005 she told police that a year earlier, Cosby had touched and penetrated her after drugging her. A prosecutor decided against proceeding with the case, and Constand followed up with a civil suit that resulted in a 2006 settlement. After that came an accelerating drip of women making allegations about incidents spanning a wide swath of Cosby’s career, from Kristina Ruehli (1965) to Chloe Goins (2008).”

Some of the women he assaulted were teenagers at the time, sent to him by a model agency. Cosby admits to having given women Quaaludes and alcohol before molesting them. He also admits to paying a number of them off in order to prevent his wife from finding out.

A statement from Constand, read at a preliminary hearing, describes Cosby giving her three blue pills that made her legs feel “like jelly,” her head throb and her eyes to get blurry. “I told him, ‘I can’t talk, Mr Cosby’. I started to panic,” she said. A trial date has not yet been set but is likely to happen this year.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including The Spectator, UnHerd, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.