A judge ruled early Tuesday afternoon that there was enough evidence to move forward in the first criminal sexual assault case against Bill Cosby, who faces three felony charges of aggravated indecent assault.
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Mr. Cosby appeared more put together during today's hearing than he did in other visits, wearing a gray suit. The comedian nodded as Montgomery County Magisterial District Judge Elizabeth McHugh announced her decision.
”The case will move forward,” she said. Mr. Cosby will next appear in court July 20 for a formal arraignment.
Mr. Cosby was charged by the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office, which is located just outside of Philadelphia, with aggravated indecent assault. It was the first such charge amid sexual assault allegations from dozens of women.
Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee, said that Mr. Cosby drugged and assaulted her in his home in January 2004.
Mr. Cosby has denied that he assaulted Ms. Constand. He said that there was sexual contact between the two, but it was consensual. If he is convicted, he faces 10 years in prison.
Ms. Constand did not testify in Tuesday's hearing. Instead, the prosecution took testimony from one of the detectives that interviewed Ms. Constand in 2005, according to CNN.
Cosby's attorney criticized the prosecution because Ms. Constand didn't appear and said that the detective' testimony was hearsay.
“They chose not to present a witness to make an accusation against Mr. Cosby,” said Mr. Cosby’s lawyer, Brian McMonagle. “Every citizen deserves more than someone walking into a courtroom and saying, ‘11 years ago someone told me something.’”
The defense also said that there were several other encounters between the two where they engaged in sexual relations.
The prosecution said that Cosby did admit to giving Ms. Constant pills and therefore removed her ability to consent to any sexual relationship. A Pennsylvania police chief who interviewed Cosby in 2005 said that Cosby told him he gave her Benadryl.
“The position that he puts her in and then takes advantage of that for his own gratification—that’s what he did, and that is why he’s charged with a crime,” said District Attorney Kevin Steele.
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The 12-year statute of limitations for the allegations made by Ms. Constand had been set to expire in January.