Cosby arraigned on charges related to alleged sex assault; bail set at $1 mln

Cosby arrives home after arraignment on charges related to alleged sex assault; bail set at $1 mln.

CHELTENHAM TOWNSHIP, PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 30, 2015) (NBC) – Comedian Bill Cosby returned to his home in Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania after being arraigned in court on Wednesday (December 30) on charges of sexually assaulting a woman in 2004.

The police complaint filed against Cosby. 78, on behalf of Andrea Constand alleges that Cosby plied Constand with drugs and alcohol before he assaulted her. It marks the only criminal case against a once-beloved performer whose father-figure persona was damaged by dozens of misconduct accusations.

Cosby returned home after appearing in court and then being booked at a local police station, and entered his home walking with a cane and accompanied by two lawyers.

He posted a $1 million bond, turned over his passport and was ordered to avoid any contact with his accuser.

The case against Cosby was filed just before the statute of limitations deadline for a criminal prosecution was due to lapse in January. The charge stems from allegations leveled by Constand, who settled a civil case against Cosby for an undisclosed sum in 2006.

Cosby, who personified the model American family man in his long-running hit television show, was charged with aggravated indecent assault, a second-degree felony carrying a maximum penalty of 5 to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

According to an affidavit accompanying the charge, the victim was a guest at Cosby’s home in Cheltenham near Philadelphia one evening in January 2004, when he gave her wine and urged her to take three blue pills, prosecutors said in a statement.

The accusations have shocked Cosby’s fans and crushed his reputation as an entertainer and father figure. Many occurred decades ago, and the statute of limitations for prosecuting them has long expired.

A portion of a sworn deposition by Cosby in 2005-2006 in the civil suit brought by Constand was made public earlier this year. In it, Cosby acknowledged under questioning that he had obtained Quaaludes, a sedative that was a popular recreational drug in the 1970s, intending to give them to young women in order to have sex with them.