From Alleged Assault to Arrest: A Timeline of the Criminal Case Against Bill Cosby

Cosby for the first time faces a criminal charge in the accusations of sexual assault that numerous women have made

The criminal charge brought against TV star Bill Cosby Wednesday arose from an alleged sexual assault nearly 12 years in the Philadelphia suburb of Chelthenham Township -- though authorities did not identify the victim by name. Andrea Constand was then director of operations for the women’s basketball team at Temple University, of which Cosby was a trustee and an alumnus. Now a 42-year-old massage therapist in Canada, Constand says the attack occurred while she was visiting the TV star at his home seeking career advice. Cosby denied the accusation, and after a week-long trial and six days of deliberation a jury deadlocked and a mistrial was declared. The district attorney vowed to retry the case. 

Here is a timeline of the case: 

Mid-January to mid-February 2004: Constand is allegedly sexually assaulted by Cosby after he gave her pills that left her semi-conscious. Cosby said in a later deposition that she did not stop him. A police complaint against Cosby gives a range of dates for the alleged assault though other legal papers specify January.

Jan. 13, 2005: Constand reports the alleged assault to police in Ontario.

Toronto Star via Getty Images
Andrea Constand

Feb. 17, 2005: Then Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. announces he will not charge Cosby. Earlier he had said that the victim’s delay in reporting the alleged assault had hurt any case.

March 8, 2005: Constand sues Cosby over allegations of sexual assault and defamation.

Sept. 27 and 28, 2005: Cosby is deposed in a civil lawsuit brought by Constand during which he acknowledges giving Quaaludes to young women he wanted to have sex with.

Bruce Castor

Nov. 8, 2006: Constand settles a civil lawsuit she had brought against the comic on confidential terms.

July 6, 2015: Cosby’s testimony from Constand’s civil lawsuit is unsealed after which prosecutors in Pennsylvania reopen the case.

Oct. 26, 2015: Constand files a defamation lawsuit against Castor for comments he made during an unsuccessful bid to regain the district attorney’s job. Castor's opponent, Kevin Steele, accused him of not looking out for Cosby's alleged victims.

Kevin Steele

Dec. 30, 2015: Steele, the district attorney-elect, announces a felony charge of aggravated indecent assault against Cosby just before the statute of limitation runs out. It is the first criminal charge brought against Cosby after more than 40 women said he made unwanted sexual advances toward them. He has denied all allegations and has sued several accusers. Cosby was arraigned and released on $1 million bail.

February 3, 2016: A Pennsylvania judge denies a request to dismiss the criminal case after Cosby argued that a former prosecutor had made a deal not to prosecute him. The current district attorney said that the agreement was not binding.

April 26, 2016:  A date is set for a preliminary hearing in the criminal sex assault case against Cosby. He is to appear May 24 in a Pennsylvania courthouse to face charges over the 2004 encounter with Constand.

July 1, 2016: Cosby's lawyers ask a judge to order Constand to refund the money he paid to settle her lawsuit a decade ago. Cosby argues she violated their confidential agreement by speaking to police.

Sept. 9, 2016:  Lawyers for Cosby suggest for the first time that racial bias is to blame as Cosby faces the prospect of 13 women testifying in court that he drugged and molested them. Twelve of them are white.

Oct. 28, 2016: Cosby's attorneys say in a new court filing that he is "legally blind" and has registered with a state commission for the blind.

Feb. 24, 2017: A judge rules only one other accuser testify at Cosby's sexual assault trial to bolster charges that the actor drugged and molested a woman at his estate near Philadelphia. The ruling means prosecutors cannot call 12 other women to try to show that the 79-year-old comedian has a history of similar "bad acts."

May 16, 2017: Cosby said he doesn't expect to testify at his sexual assault trial and suggested that racism "could be" behind the scores of accusations against him.

May 22, 2017: Jury selection in the case begins.

May 24, 2017: The jury for the Cosby case is seated. In includes 10 white jurors and 2 black jurors.

June 5, 2017: The trial's first witness, Kelly Johnson of Atlanta, who worked for one of Cosby's agents at the William Morris Agency, describes an encounter she said took place in 1996 at the Hotel Bel-Air when she was in her mid-30s. She testifies that Cosby pressured her to take a large white pill that knocked her out, and when she woke up he put lotion on her hand and forced her to touch his genitals.

June 6, 2017: Cosby's chief accuser Andrea Constand takes the stand at his sexual assault trial Tuesday to tell her story publicly for the first time, saying the comedian violated her after giving her three blue pills that left her paralyzed and helpless.

June 12, 2017: The Defense rests after calling only one witness. Cosby does not testify. The case goes to the jury following closing arguments from the prosecution and defense.

June 17, 2017: After 6 days of deliberation the jury is unable to reach a consensus on 3 counts of sexual misconduct. Jurors told Common Pleas Judge Steven O'Neill they were "hopelessly deadlocked" on the charges. The judge had previously sent the jury from outside Pittsburgh back to deliberate but they were unable to come to a consensus on any of the three counts and a mistrial was declared. The prosecution announces they plan to retry the case against Cosby.

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