Bill Cosby was criminally charged with sexual assault for the first time Wednesday after being accused by more than 50 women of wrongdoings over several decades, and new court papers reveal unsettling details about the allegations against him.
In a criminal complaint filed in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and obtained by EW, prosecutors claim that Cosby drugged and assaulted Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee who considered him a mentor and friend, in 2004.
According to the complaint, Constand met Cosby through her work at his alma mater, and the two developed what she “believed to be a sincere friendship.” The complaint notes that Cosby is 37 years Constand’s senior and “provided her with guidance and career advice.”
Although Constand had “no interest whatsoever in a romantic relationship with Cosby,” prosecutors say, he made sexual advances toward her on two separate occasions before the alleged assault, both at his home. Both times she rebuffed him and departed. “She never thought he would hit on her,” the complaint says, “especially since Cosby is much older than her father.”
Still, the complaint says, Constand “trusted [Cosby] and continued to accept his invitations to social and professional functions.” At some point between mid-January and mid-February 2004, Cosby invited Constand to his Pennsylvania home to discuss her “future career plans,” and once there, he urged her to swallow three blue pills and drink wine to relax.
Constand told investigators that within half an hour, she began experiencing blurred vision, difficulty speaking, and loss of physical strength. Cosby, she said, then sexually assaulted her. Constand woke up in disheveled clothes around 4 a.m. and left.
Within three months of the encounter, Constand returned to her parents’ home in Canada, the complaint says, and her mother took notice of her troubled demeanor. The Constands reported the alleged assault to authorities in Canada, and Constand’s mother reached Cosby on the phone to confront him, at which point he allegedly “apologized and offered to cover any expenses associated with therapy.”
Authorities in Pennsylvania launched an investigation at the time and interviewed Cosby, who maintained that the encounter was consensual. The Montgomery County district attorney’s office reviewed the investigation and announced in February 2005 that no criminal charges were forthcoming, although the DA would “reconsider this decision should the need arise.”
The next month Constand filed a civil suit against Cosby, which was settled in 2006.
Prosecutors recently reopened the decade-old criminal case against Cosby after excerpts from his deposition in the civil suit were released by a federal judge.
Attorneys for Cosby said in a statement Wednesday that the case against him is “unjustified,” adding that they “intend to mount a vigorous defense.”