Bill Cosby has been charged with sexual assault in relation to a 2004 accusation in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
Cosby, whose legacy as a comedian has been besmirched by multiple accusations of sexual assault, faces one felony charge of aggravated indecent assault.
This is the first criminal charge levied against Cosby since the allegations first arose. Cosby has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing.
After looking at all the evidence in the 2004 allegations, prosecutors decided to charge Cosby “because it was the right thing to do,” Montgomery County prosecutor Kevin Steele said.
CNN has reached out to Cosby’s lawyers for comment.
The district attorney did not name the victim, but the accusations he announced parallel the allegations made by former Temple University employee Andrea Constand. She has said Cosby drugged and fondled her in January 2004.
She was the first person to publicly allege sexual assault by Cosby. Prosecutors declined to file charges at that time, citing insufficient evidence.
Constand settled a civil case against Cosby in 2006. Pennsylvania law has a 12-year statute of limitations for sexual assault cases, a window that closes early next year.
Some unsealed documents from that civil suit revealed that Cosby has admitted to getting prescription Quaaludes to give to women he wanted to have sex with.
Asked whether investigators believe Cosby used Quaaludes in the 2004 case for which he is being charged, Steele said that pills were provided.
“There’s inconsistencies on [what pills they were]. There was also wine provided,” the prosecutor said. He said the woman has said she was “frozen, paralyzed, unable to move,” so she was therefore unable to consent to sexual activity.