After denying a string of accusations, United States comedian Bill Cosby has been charged with sexual assault.
The AFP reported that Cosby would be arraigned in Pennsylvania later today over an incident that took place in 2004.
“Mr. Cosby is charged with aggravated indecent assault. This is a felony of the first degree,” Kevin Steele, assistant district attorney for the state’s Montgomery County, told reporters.
The development marks the first criminal charges to be filed against the actor after dozens of women claimed abuse.
People.com reported that an arrest warrant has been issued for Cosby earlier.
The comedian allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted former Temple employee Andrea Constand at his mansion – Elkins Park – in Pennsylvania in January 2004.
“A prosecutor’s job is to follow the evidence wherever it leads and whenever it comes to light,” People.comquoted Steele as saying. “Upon examination of all the evidence, today we are able to seek justice on behalf of the victim.”
Constand’s allegation is one of dozens of allegations levelled against Cosby by over 50 women. The allegations which date back to the 60s revolve around rape, sexual battery, child sexual abuse and drug-facilitated rape.
Over the years, the 78-year-old had declined to comment on the allegations, which have more recently forced him to cancel shows.