Disgraced US megastar Bill Cosby will go on trial June 5, 2017 accused of sexually assaulting a woman at his Philadelphia home more than a decade ago, a judge said Tuesday.
The pioneering black comedian, who faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted, had returned to court in Pennsylvania as part of multiple attempts to avoid standing trial for the alleged 2004 assault.
But Judge Steven O’Neill set the June trial date regardless, and said proceedings could begin earlier if schedules permit.
Montgomery County prosecutor Kevin Steele said he wanted to bring up to 13 other women also allegedly assaulted by Cosby to testify.
Cosby allegedly plied Andrea Constand with pills and wine, then sat her down on a couch, where the actor allegedly assaulted her in 2004. Constand, who worked for the Temple University basketball team, now lives in Canada.
Going to trial cements a brutal fall from grace for the once treasured father figure, apparent model citizen and award-winning comedian who smashed through racial barriers and delighted audiences with his gentle, self-deprecating humor.
More than 50 women have publicly painted him as a serial sexual predator who plied victims with sedatives and alcohol to have sex and make them unable to resist his advances.
Those allegations have seen celebrity pals and millions more malign the legend who attained his greatest fame for his role as a lovable obstetrician and family man in the hit 1980s television sitcom “The Cosby Show.”
The vast majority of the alleged abuses happened too long ago to prosecute, meaning the only criminal charge brought against Cosby stem from the Constand case.