Bill Cosby Released on $1 Million Bail After Being Charged in Alleged 2004 Sexual Assault
Bill Cosby was arraigned Wednesday on a felony charge of aggravated indecent assault and did not enter a plea, PEOPLE confirms.
The sweater-clad Cosby, who arrived without his wife, Camille, and was walking with a cane, was arraigned in Elkins Park on Wednesday afternoon, where his bail was set at $1 million. He was also ordered to surrender his passport. Throughout the appearance, Cosby seemed disoriented and was fidgeting with his fingers.
The judge ended the proceeding by wishing Cosby “Good luck to you.” Cosby replied, “Thank you.”
Following his arraignment, Cosby went to the Cheltenham Police Department to be processed and fingerprinted. He is free on bail after posting 10 percent in cash.
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Montgomery County District Attorney-Elect Kevin Steele said at a Wednesday press conference that Constand “came to consider Mr. Cosby her mentor and her friend.”
He said that Cosby “made two sexual advances at her that were rejected.” He added, “Mr. Cosby urged her to take pills and to drink wine, the effect of which left her unable to [rebuff his advances].”
Constand was not available for comment but one of her attorneys expressed gratitude toward the prosecutor.
“Obviously we appreciate the expression of confidence in her,” says Dolores Troiani of her client, Constand, 42, who is now a massage therapist in Ontario, Canada. “We’ll have to see what happens. We hope justice will be done. We will cooperate fully.”
So far, more than 50 women have accused the entertainer of drugging and/or sexually assaulting them. (Cosby has vehemently denied all of the allegations). The warrant comes just two weeks after Cosby filed defamation lawsuits against several of those accusers, who have filed defamation lawsuits of their own against him.
A preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 14.
Cosby’s attorneys called the criminal case against him “unjustified” in a statement to CNN, vowing to fight it.
The statement read: “The charge by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office came as no surprise, filed 12 years after the alleged incident and coming on the heels of a hotly contested election for this county’s DA during which this case was made the focal point. Make no mistake, we intend to mount a vigorous defense against this unjustified charge and we expect that Mr. Cosby will be exonerated by a court of law.”
The Cheltenham community is shaken by Cosby’s arrest. A neighbor who does not wish to reveal her name tells PEOPLE: “We are not judge or jury. But the story over the past year has made us sad. I’ve always admired this man; I always thought he was doing such great things for the youth of this country for his whole life. Look at the impact he had when he spoke, he inspired.
“And I feel like it’s all just gone. I’m a teacher and it was kinda cool to say he lives in Cheltenham and we had this well-known celebrity and now we are all very sad.”
Another neighbor adds: “He’s never been involved in the neighborhood. I feel sorry for the women and it’s sad and I hope in some way it can be used for good.”
Police were called to chase away reporters from in front of Cosby’s home on Wednesday afternoon following the arraignment.