Minnesota residents have likely heard about the stories involving Bill Cosby and sexual misconduct, and the comedy actor will face trial for felony-aggravated indecent assault. During a hearing May 24, a judge ruled that a criminal trial could proceed.
A woman employed at Temple University was the first woman to accuse Cosby of committing sexual misdeeds in 2004, and more than 50 women followed. The 78-year-old celebrity was present in court, but the woman who first accused him was not, and the defense wanted to use this in Cosby’s favor. However, a county attorney reported that hearsay is allowed during a preliminary hearing.
The authorities did not charge Cosby after the first sexual assault claim, and a settlement was reached in civil court in 2006 regarding this matter. The case was reopened as more people came forward with accusations of abuse and a deposition from 2005 was unsealed. Cosby sued the first accuser for violating their 2006 settlement agreement and denies the allegations of sexual misconduct.
In December 2015, Cosby was arraigned and released on a $1 million bond. Each charge Cosby faces has a maximum possible sentence of 10 years in prison, but a judge could allow him to serve these sentences at the same time.
While multiple woman have made accusations against Cosby, the statute of limitations has passed for most of these allegations. However, one should always take accusations of sex crimes seriously. One could face criminal or civil charges when accused of sexual misconduct, and even allegations that do not result in charges or a conviction could follow one through life. This is why individuals who have been accused may wish to consult an attorney to ensure that his or her rights are protected.