Authorities in Pennsylvania on Wednesday charged entertainer Bill Cosby with felony sexual assault after an alleged 2004 incident involving an ex-Temple University employee.
The stand-up comedian and actor has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman at his home in a Philadelphia suburb after plying her with drugs and alcohol.
The 78-year-old celebrity appeared at a courthouse in Elkins Park, just outside Philadelphia, accompanied by two lawyers.
He was ordered to turn over his passport and avoid any contact with his accuser after posting a US$1 million bail bond, Reuters reported.
The case against Cosby was filed just before the statute of limitations deadline for a criminal prosecution was due to lapse in January.
The charge stems from allegations leveled by Andrea Constand, who settled a civil case against Cosby for an undisclosed sum in 2006.
Constand, a former basketball team manager at Temple University in Philadelphia, Cosby’s alma mater, is one of more than 50 women who have publicly accused the star of sexually assaulting them in incidents dating back decades.
Cosby and his lawyers, while acknowledging marital infidelity on the entertainer’s part, have consistently denied any allegations of sexual misconduct.
His legal team issued a statement late Wednesday describing the criminal charge as “unjustified” and that they expect their client to be exonerated by a court of law.
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