A preliminary hearing against Bill Cosby to determine whether or not prosecutors have enough evidence to charge the 78-year-old comedian with criminal sexual assault charges concluded today. After hearing testimony from Andrea Constand, who alleges that Cosby drugged and raped her in 2004, the judge in the hearing ruled that the criminal case can proceed.
This will be Cosby’s first criminal trial after facing a mounting number of allegations of rape and sexual assault. The three charges in the criminal case, including aggravated assault in Pennsylvania, will all move forward. If convicted, Cosby could face up to 10 years in jail.
MSNBC reports that Cosby’s arraignment is scheduled for July 20. It’s expected that the comedian’s lawyers will continue to impugn Constand’s character, arguing as they did in the preliminary hearings, that she is an unreliable and motivated witness. Cosby settled a lawsuit with Constand for an undisclosed sum in 2006. It was during that lawsuit that Cosby acknowledged drugging women with quaaludes.
In addition to the criminal charges, Cosby faces a number of defamation lawsuits from victims who claim that he publicly branded them as liars. The Associate Press reports that Cosby is trying to get his homeowner’s insurance to pay the claims.
Image via Getty.