(Reuters) — Comedian Bill Cosby has been charged with sexual assault in connection with an incident at his Philadelphia-area mansion in 2004, a Pennsylvania prosecutor said on Wednesday.
An arrest warrant has been issued for the 78-year-old comedian for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in January 2004, Montgomery County First Assistant District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said at a news conference.
“Today, after examination of all the evidence, we are able to seek justice on behalf of the victim,” Steele said.
The charge against Cosby is aggravated indecent assault, which is a felony in the first degree.
Steele said new information came to light this year in the case. He said the victim was willing to cooperate.
The statue of limitations in the case runs out in January.
More than 50 women have come forward with claims that Cosby had drugged, and in numerous cases, sexually assaulted them in incidents dating back decades.
The charges have shocked Cosby’s fans and crushed his reputation as an entertainer and wholesome father figure.
Cosby has repeatedly denied wrongdoing. Many of the alleged incidents occurred decades ago and the statute of limitations for prosecuting them expired long ago.
(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Jeffrey Benkoe)
Comedian Bill Cosby performs at The Temple Buell Theatre in Denver, Colorado January 17, 2015. REUTERS/Barry Gutierrez