Ever since prosecutors in the Philadelphia suburb of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania brought felony sexual assault charges against Bill Cosby late last December, lawyers for the disgraced comedian have been trying to get the case dismissed. That’s not surprising—just weeks before the criminal charges emerged, Cosby countersued one of his more than 50 accusers in California, saying basically her charges of sexual assault had made him look bad.
And thanks to statutes of limitations, most of Cosby’s accusers have no recourse against him except in civil court. But that’s not true in the case of Andra Constand, who accuses Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting her in 2004 in a story that’s sickeningly similar to those of the other women. And this morning, after multiple attempts by Cosby’s lawyers to get the case dropped for lack of evidence, Judge Elizabeth McHugh has ruled that legal proceedings will go forward, and Cosby will be forced to stand trial.
Cosby has waived a formal arraignment, so the case—barring a plea bargain—will move straight to trial on three charges of felony second-degree aggravated indecent assault. If convicted, Cosby could face up to 10 years in prison.