The rumors and accusations that Bill Cosby had drugged and sexually assaulted many women over the years have increasingly been in the news since comedian Hannibal Burress pointed out Cosby’s moralizing hypocrisy as a part of his act.
But on Wednesday, December 30, Cosby was officially charged with aggravated indecent assault over an incident at Temple University in 2004. The comedian faces felony charges from one of the more than 50 women who have described having been drugged and assaulted by Cosby.
The statute of limitations for the charges would have been 12 years, meaning in just a matter of months the window of opportunity for Cosby’s accuser to file charges would have closed.
There no date yet set for Cosby’s trial. If convicted, he could face time in prison.
For years, Cosby has denied the growing claims that he sexually assaulted multiple women, pointing to the fact that he had never been formally charged. Wednesday’s arraignment changed that.
Because of Cosby’s celebrity, the case will likely draw intense media coverage when it happens. Whether Cosby’s celebrity status will help or hurt him in the trial remains to be seen, especially in light of the fact that so many women have made similar accusations in recent years.
If Cosby’s considerable resources and fame aren’t able to help him prevail in this case, imagine how difficult it is for someone without his status and wealth to fight similar charges. In Cosby’s case, as with anybody who faces damaging charges of sexual assault, the choice of one’s lawyer can make all the difference in the world. It is not a decision to leave to chance, especially, as in the case for Cosby, when the whole world will be watching.