ELKINS PARK, Pa. — Bill Cosby was arrested in the twilight of his life and career Wednesday and charged with a decade-old sex crime after a barrage of accusations from dozens of women made a mockery of his image as TV’s wise and understanding Dr. Cliff Huxtable.
Using a cane, the 78-year-old comedian walked slowly and unsteadily into court on the arms of his lawyers to answer charges he drugged and sexually assaulted a woman less than half his age at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.
He and his attorneys had no comment as he was released on $1 million bail.
The case marks the first time Cosby has been charged with sexual misconduct despite years of lurid allegations, and sets the stage for perhaps the biggest Hollywood celebrity trial of the mobile-news era.
The former “Cosby Show” star and celebrated breaker of TV’s racial barriers was charged with aggravated indecent assault, punishable by five to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. He did not have to enter a plea at his court appearance.
The decision to prosecute him came down just days before Pennsylvania’s 12-year statute of limitations for bringing charges was set to run out.