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By David Ganezer
Observer Staff Writer 

Bill Cosby to Stand Trial On Sexual Assault Charges

Judge Throws Out Argument that a Civil Settlement Also Resolved Related Criminal Claim

 

AP Photo/Mel Evans

In this Feb. 2, 2016 photo, Bill Cosby arrives for a court appearance in Norristown, Pa.

Bill Cosby went back to court Tuesday in Pennsylvania, for a preliminary hearing on charges he drugged and sexually assaulted Temple University employee Andrea Constand 12 years ago. She says she only came forward after numerous other women accused the famous comedian of rape or sexual assault.

Counsel for Cosby argued People v. Bill Cosby couldn't proceed, because Cosby settled Constand's claim civilly, but this is not much of an argument, given that criminal cases are handled separately from civil ones.

State Prosecutors have charged Mr. Cosby, 78, with three counts of aggravated indecent assault. Each count carries a potential sentence of up to a decade in Pennsylvania State Prison.

Starting in 2015, more than 50 women have come forward, saying Cosby raped them, or attempted to rape them, may saying he used date rape and other drugs to render them unconscious.

Mr. Cosby has denied the allegations, averring that any sexual contact between the two was consensual (despite the roofies). But in court filings, Miss Constand has claimed that she was always a lesbian, and was in a relationship in 2004 reports People magazine. Cosby settled a civil case she brought in 2006, but prosecutors decided to re-open the case.

At today's preliminary hearing, the judge weill determine whether there's enough evidence for Cosby to go to trial. They almost always decide their is enough evidence, and the case proceeds to discovery and trial, usually 60 days later. Cosby's His counsel moved that the case should case dismissed, taking a Writ to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. But the State high court ruled against Cosby on Monday, 5/23.

In his 2005 and 2006 depositions for the civil case, Cosby admitted to giving Quaaludes to women before having sex with them.

 

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