(AllHipHop News) – After much legal wrangling by the defense and an exhaustive degree of debate within popular and social media, Bill Cosby, comedian and star of the groundbreaking “Cosby Show” will be going to trial defend himself against criminal charges of sexual misconduct.
Presiding Norristown, Pennsylvania Judge Elizabeth A. McHugh at the Montgomery County Courthouse issued the ruling from actions that Cosby is alleged to have taken against defendant and former Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004 in keeping with a civil suit that Constand filed against him in 2005.
Constand, who saw Cosby as a trusted mentor and friend before the alleged sexual misconduct, is accusing Cosby of drugging her with pills that rendered her incapable of movement and then sexually assaulting her at his home outside of Philadelphia in 2014.
Temple University is Cosby’s alma mater.
Cosby, who is 78 years old, currently faces three counts of felony indecent assault in connection with this criminal trial involving Constand.
If Cosby is convicted he could face up to 30 years in prison.
As reported by CNN, Cosby’s defense attorney Brian McMonagle predictably found this ruling by Judge McHugh not in keeping with the actual strengths and merits of the prosecution’s evidence.
“The evidence presented today was evidence of nothing, ” stated McMonagle post ruling, stressing that the prosecution had had more than 12 years to present a ‘workable’ accuser in Constand as the linchpin for the criminal case, adding: “There was no evidence of a crime here. And the inconsistencies that plagued this investigation from the start continue to plague it now. This case should end immediately.”
While allegations of sexual impropriety against Cosby date as far back as the mid 1960s, as currently recorded in places as widely accessible as Wikipedia, greater public knowledge of these accusations have only just come to light.
In October 2014, comedian Hannibal Buress was one of the first to reference the accusations in a highly controversial comedy routine that subsequently went viral.
That following year in July 2015, previously sealed transcripts from Cosby’s deposition in connection to a civil suit Constand filed in 2005 against Cosby were released, with Cosby admitting on public record to using Quaalades with multiple women in what he described as “casual” sexual encounters despite previous and continued knowledge that use of such a drug is illegal.
Today (May 24), as reported by many news sources, more that fifty women – some of whom are also celebrities – have come forward and accused Cosby of past sexual misconduct in the last three years alone.
With this legal defeat of Cosby’s five month campaign to avoid going to trial, a decade that has been shrouded in the rumors and the mysteries of ‘he said, she said,’ will finally see what should hopefully prove to be some much needed legal clarity.
In the pursuit of that clarity, a political lesson in celebrity jurisprudence, of the likes of what America hasn’t seen since the O.J. Simpson trial of 1995, could be on hand with regards to larger questions of race, sex, gender and class.
As per The New York Times, in the wake of Judge McHugh’s ruling, Cosby has waived a formal arraignment, signaling an automatic plea of not guilty and thus eliminating any barriers towards McHugh’s next step of setting a court date.
Hopefully when that day comes, we as a country will have learned a bit more than we exhibited in 1995 about staying together in the face of hard realities versus dividing along the political lines of the beliefs around which we find ourselves the most comfortable.