After years of allegations, Andrea Constand's case against alleged rapist Bill Cosby may finally bring the disgraced actor down. Constand's case moved to a pretrial on Tuesday, Sept. 6, where new evidence and a trial date were expected to be revealed. The 42-year-old's allegations are over a decade in the making, but when Constand first accused Cosby of sexual assault in 2005, she saw her case dropped over an apparent lack of evidence.
It wasn't until a new string of allegations against Cosby began circulating in 2014 that Constand's case was made public again. But the path to Tuesday's pretrial has included multiple letdowns by a judicial system that hasn't given his 58 known accusers a chance to properly defend themselves against Cosby. However, Cosby's trial will begin June 5, 2017, as revealed during his pretrial, which could include as many as 13 of his accusers.
Constand originally filed a complaint in 2005, alleging that Cosby had drugged her while she served as a staffer on Temple University's women's basketball team, Cosby's alma mater. She alleged that Cosby had gained her trust first as her mentor, then after taking her to his suburban Philadelphia home, drugged and sexually assaulted her. Constand filed a complaint with the police a year later, but was told there was a lack of physical evidence. Cosby has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The district attorney working on the case decided not to press charges due to this lack of evidence, but told the Daily Mail in 2014 that he believed Cosby was guilty at the time:
I wanted to arrest Bill Cosby because I thought he was probably guilty, but being able to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt and thinking he's probably guilty are two different things. We knew back then that other woman had come forward, but even if they did it didn't mean anything for our case as none of those cases resulted in charges and were remote in time.
After police declined to charge Cosby, Constand then filed a civil suit against the actor. Despite bringing an additional 13 women with similar stories of sexual assault as witnesses, the lawsuit was settled with no criminal charges filed against Cosby.
But it was a damaging testimony that Cosby gave during that lawsuit that may bring him down in this most recent case against him. In the 2005 legal deposition, Cosby admitted to obtaining prescriptions for the powerful sedative Quaaludes, which he would give to women before having sex with them. He's maintained that it was done consensually, and his legal team has said that the testimony was given in exchange for immunity from any charges.
Yet federal judge Eduardo Robreno ruled to unseal the documents from the 2005 case, which included this nearly 1000-page deposition, after receiving a request from the Associated Press. Robreno said of the decision to unseal the documents: "The stark contrast between Bill Cosby, the public moralist and Bill Cosby, the subject of serious allegations concerning improper (and perhaps criminal) conduct is a matter as to which the AP — and by extension the public — has a significant interest."
So despite this supposed initial lack of evidence, it appears as though Constand has plenty to move forward with during the pretrial hearing and the June 5, 2017 trial.