Bill Cosby to stand trial for sexual assault charges

The charges stem from an accusation that he drugged and sexually assaulted a woman in 2004

Bill Cosby has been ordered to stand trial for sexual assault charges that date back to 2004.

The comedian has been accused of intoxicating and sexually assaulting a woman in his Pennsylvania home more than 12 years ago, the Guardian reports.

The case will be the first against Cosby to be heard in court following a wave of similar accusations by dozens of women. Andrea Constand, who met Cosby when she was an employee of Temple University in Philadelphia, claims that Cosby drugged and violated her at his home in January 2004. Cosby faces up to 10 years in prison if he is convicted of the charges against him.

NMEPress

At a hearing on Tuesday, the detectives who interviewed Constand in 2005 read portions of her statement. In the interview, Constand claimed that the assault took place when Cosby invited her to his home for a conversation about her future. She told police that he urged her to drink wine, despite her objections, and take pills that immobilised her and made it impossible for her to speak. Cosby then laid her out on the couch, she claims, and put his hand in her pants and touched her genitals, and fondled her breasts.

John Norris, the chief of police, read from a transcript of an interview that took place between himself, Cosby and Cosby’s attorney in 2005. Cosby acknowledged having several sexual encounters with Constand in the interview but claimed that all of them were consensual.

Cosby has denied the accusations of sexual assault that have been levelled at him by numerous women. In most of those cases, the women involved declined to make statements to the police or the statute of limitations has expired.