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  Newsmakers   Bill Cosby to stand trial for sex assault

Bill Cosby to stand trial for sex assault

Published : May 26, 2016, 5:13 am IST
Updated : May 26, 2016, 5:13 am IST

Bill Cosby smiles as he leaves the Montgomery county courthouse after a preliminary hearing in Norristown, Pennsylvania. (Photo: AP)

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Bill Cosby smiles as he leaves the Montgomery county courthouse after a preliminary hearing in Norristown, Pennsylvania. (Photo: AP)

Disgraced US megastar Bill Cosby must stand trial over accusations that he sexually assaulted a woman after plying her with wine and pills at his Philadelphia home 12 years ago, a judge ruled on Tuesday.

The pioneering black comedian, who faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted, looked subdued and kept his eyes down as he left a county court house in Pennsylvania, dressed in a grey suit and floral tie, leaning on a member of his entourage.

In recent years, more than 50 women have publicly painted him as a serial sexual predator who plied victims with sedatives and alcohol to have sex and make them unable to resist his advances.

The vast majority of the alleged abuses happened too long ago to prosecute, meaning the only criminal charge brought against him stems from the 2004 allegations from Andrea Constand, who worked for the Temple University basketball team and now lives in Canada. Judge Elizabeth McHugh ruled after a three-hour hearing in Norristown, outside Philadelphia, on Tuesday that there is enough evidence to justify a trial. “Good luck to you sir,” she told Cosby at the end.

“Thank you,” he replied, making no further comment. The former star posted bail at $1 million in the case in December, but has yet to enter a plea and a trial date has yet to be determined. His reputation was shredded further Tuesday by an admission of having sex with at least two teenage girls, made in his deposition in the Constand suit and revealed by the US media. He also said that “five or six” models were brought to his studio each week during filming of one of his sitcoms. “We’re here because we want to seek the truth. We want to serve justice,” Montgomery county district Attorney Kevin Steele said. Constand, 43, did not attend Tuesday’s hearing but Katherine Hart, a detective who took her original deposition in January 2005, read out passages from its transcript detailing the alleged assault. Cosby plied Constand with pills and wine, then sat her down on a couch, where heallegedly fondled her breasts, put his fingers in her vagina and put her hand on his penis, according to the deposition transcript.

Location: United States, Pennsylvania