The criminal sexual assault complaint filed in Pennsylvania Wednesday against Bill Cosby is “the best Christmas present” ever for many of the women allegedly victimized by the entertainer, Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred said.
“For many of my 29 clients who allege they are victims of Bill Cosby, seeing him criminally charged and having to face a trial is the best Christmas present that they have ever received,” Allred said.
Around the same time she was facing a throng of media at a late morning news conference in her office, Cosby made his initial appearance at the Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, courthouse on a felony charge of aggravated indecent assault.
Bail was set at $1 million for Cosby, who turned over his passport and was ordered to return to court on Jan. 14.
It was the first criminal case to be filed against the 78-year-old married comedian, who dozens of women have accused of drugging and sexually assaulting them.
“The allegations in the Pennsylvania criminal case against Mr. Cosby relate to conduct Mr. Cosby is alleged to have inflicted on Andrea Constand in 2004,” Allred said, and “is within the statute of limitations … for prosecution in Pennsylvania.”
“Unfortunately, for most of the women who allege that they are victims of Mr. Cosby, it is too late for their allegations to be the subject of a criminal prosecution or a civil case because of the arbitrary and restrictive time limits set by law,” Allred said.
She represents 29 alleged victims, one of whom has filed a civil lawsuit against the entertainer. Judy Huth alleges she was sexually assaulted by Cosby at the Playboy Mansion in 1974, when she was 15 years old.
In October, Allred grilled Cosby under oath for several hours in connection with Huth’s lawsuit, which accuses him of sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Allred said Constand, a 42-year-old former Temple University employee who Cosby is accused of sexually assaulting in January 2004 after plying her with drugs and wine, “is very brave … I think she’s terrific.”
She said that many of the women she represents are willing to take the witness stand in the Constand case if their testimony is judged to be both relevant and admissible.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is still weighing whether to file a case against Cosby stemming from an alleged 2008 sexual assault at the Playboy Mansion.
The Los Angeles Police Department submitted the results of its investigation to prosecutors on Sept. 30, and the case “remains under review,” according to Jane Robison of the District Attorney’s Office.
A lawsuit filed Oct. 6 in federal court on behalf of model Chloe Goins alleged that Cosby sexually assaulted her at the Playboy Mansion when she was 18.
Her attorney, Spencer Kuvin, told City News Service this afternoon that his client was “very happy” about the criminal case being filed against Cosby in Pennsylvania.
“We think that it supports her case in Los Angeles,” he said. “My client wants to see Mr. Cosby behind bars for what he did to her.”
Cosby has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and recently sued former supermodel Beverly Johnson, claiming she defamed him by publicly alleging that he drugged and tried to have sex with her.
The comedian’s suit, filed Dec. 21 in Los Angeles Superior Court suit alleges Johnson “joined the campaign to assassinate Mr. Cosby’s reputation and character by willfully, maliciously and falsely accusing Mr. Cosby of drugging her at his home in New York, and suggesting he did so in an effort to have sex with her.”
Johnson, 63, alleges the drugging and attempt to have sex with her occurred in the 1980s when she had dinner with the comedian at his home. Cosby’s lawsuit says the only dinner he and Johnson ever had together was at a New York restaurant with his longtime wife present.
Another of Cosby’s higher-profile accusers is former supermodel Janice Dickinson, who sued him in May, alleging he raped her in a Lake Tahoe hotel room in 1982 after giving her wine and pills and later defamed her by calling her a liar in the media last year.
Dickinson claimed she wanted to go public with her story in a 2002 autobiography but was prevented from doing so by the book’s publisher.
Louisa Moritz, an actress and businesswoman who filed a defamation suit against Cosby this month in Massachusetts, issued a statement this afternoon via her Los Angeles-based publicist regarding the filing of the criminal case in Pennsylvania.
“This has empowered me and I am sure the other women who have had the courage to come forward,” Moritz said. “Although I am being re-victimized all over again by ‘Team Cosby,’ I am sure my powerful legal team will prevail upon my lawsuit … and to defend me against his disgusting countersuit against me and six other women a few weeks ago.”
—City News Service