Bill Cosby is facing up to 10 years in prison after a Pennsylvania court charged the troubled comedian with aggravated indecent assault this Wednesday. A warrant has been issued for his arrest, for a crime that is also being referred to as a felony sexual assault. The charge is for an incident that took place in Cosby's own home back in 2004.
In January of that year, former Temple University employee Andrea Constand says she was at the comedian's house in Cheltenham, Pa. She claims that the sitcom actor drugged her, and sexually assaulted her. According to the woman, Bill Cosby pressured her into taking three blue pills, which she consumed with wine. He then proceeded to take advantage of her on his living room couch.
Andrea Constand isn't just now coming forward on the matter. She accused the comedian of the crime way back when it happened, in 2004. But a Montgomery County prosecutor thwarted her efforts, determining that the claims weren't warranted. New attorneys working for Constand had this to say in a statement.
"In that this matter is now being pursued in the criminal justice system, we will not comment further."
Since the Bill Cosby scandal first broke wide this past year, more than 50 women have come forward to accuse The Cosby Show star of sexual misconduct, which has been carried out over the course of the past 30 years. If Bill Cosby is found guilty of this latest charge, he could spend the next decade in jail. The amount of time he will remain behind bars is to be determined by a wide number of variables. Former assistant district attorney in Chester County, Pa., Michael Skinner had this to say about the case.
"It's very case specific. It's going to depend upon the nature of the assault, the age of the victim and the strength of the evidence."
Bill Cosby's assault charge is a second-degree felony, and the maximum sentence is 10 years. The stander for such a crime is usually 22 to 36 months behind bars in Pennsylvania. Depending on the seriousness of the crime, the judge may go above or below that number.
Michael Skinner believes that, because of the evidence in the case, the comedian will get at least three years. The case against Cosby will site two earlier incidents in which the comedian harassed the same victim. If seen as "aggravating factors", this could warrant more jail time. The fact that sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby have been widely spread in the media could also factor into more jail time. And the use of drugs is also another factor that will increase the harshness of the sentencing.