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Bill Cosby appeared in court on Wednesday afternoon in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, where he was formally arraigned on one charge of aggravated indecent assault. The charge is considered a second degree felony and carries a maximum penalty of 5-10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
The 78-year-old appeared somber, wearing a gray sweater and holding a cane as he arrived via a black SUV for the arraignment. He was accompanied by a woman who appeared to be his lawyer, Monique Pressley, and shook his head when asked by reporters if he'd like to say anything. At one point, Cosby tripped over a curb on his way inside the courthouse. His wife, Camille Cosby, did not accompany him to court.
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Former Temple employee Andrea Constand alleges that the comedian drugged and violated her at his mansion in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, more than a decade ago. According to authorities, the charges filed on Wednesday are a result of new information that came to light beginning in July 2015, when a federal judge unsealed a 2015 deposition in the case. After determining the statute of limitations regarding the potential criminal offense had not yet expired -- which is 12 years -- an investigation was reopened.
In March 2005, Constand filed civil charges against Cosby. Thirteen unidentified women agreed to serve as Jane Doe witnesses to testify that they too were sexually assaulted by Cosby, but the case was settled out of court for an unspecified amount in November 2006, and the 13 witnesses didn't get the chance to take the stand.
According to court documents obtained by ET in June, Cosby admitted that he obtained Quaaludes to give to women that he was looking to have sex with in the 2005 deposition in Constand's case.
This will mark the first criminal charges against Cosby, after more than 50 women have accused him of drugging and/or sexually assaulting them. He has denied all wrongdoing.
Earlier this month, Cosby's attorney said that the embattled star was taking legal action against several women who have accused him of sexual misconduct. Pressley referred to the women's allegations as "malicious, opportunistic and false and defamatory."
On Wednesday, Cosby's attorneys gave a statement to ET, saying, "The charge by the Montgomery County District Attorney's office came as no surprise, filed 12 years after the alleged incident and coming on the heels of a hotly contested election for this county's DA during which this case was made the focal point. Make no mistake, we intend to mount a vigorous defense against this unjustified charge and we expect that Mr. Cosby will be exonerated by a court of law."