Bill Cosby to Face Felony Assault Charges in Pennsylvania

Comedian Bill Cosby will face felony assault charges in a 2004 sexual assault case, a case that — because of unsealed depositions — has driven many headlines about his alleged sexual misconduct in the past year plus.

The charges were made official this morning by the Montgomery County, PA, District Attorney. A warrant has been issued, and the comedian is expected to be arraigned this afternoon. You can see the criminal docket, “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. William Henry Cosby,” here.

Under oath in depositions related to this case, Cosby admitted to giving Temple University Employee Andrea Constand Benadryl and no more, but in that same testimony he also copped to extramarital “affairs” and offering women quaaludes before sexual encounters. Though none of his confessed behavior was nonconsensual, it turned a good deal of public opinion against the comedian, who now has more than 50 accusers, many of whom have been speaking up in the media.

The decision to pursue charges was first reported by news outlets moments before the news conference this morning.. The prosecution falls just a hair’s width under Pennsylvania’s 12-year statute of limitations for these cases, which expires in January. The issue of whether or not Cosby should have been prosecuted initially for this case, which was dismissed for insufficient evidence, has also fueled several heated political battles in the state.