AP Photo/Matt Rourke
AP Photo/Matt Rourke
UPDATE: Attorneys for Bill Cosby issued a statement following Wednesday's arraignment. Per NBC, it reads: "The charge by the Montgomery County District Attorney's office came as no surprise, filed 12 years after the alleged incident and coming on the heels of a hotly contested election for this county's DA during which this case was made the focal point. Make no mistake, we intend to mount a vigorous defense against this unjustified charge and we expect that Mr. Cosby will be exonerated by a court of law."
Bill Cosby was arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Pennsylvania's Montgomery County District Court on sexual assault charges stemming from 2004.
Judge Elizabeth McHugh read the charges against the 78-year-old and, per CNBC, set his bail at $1 million. Per CNN, Cosby handed over his passport and did not enter a plea. He will remain free on bail pending trial. A preliminary hearing was set for Jan. 14 at 9:30 a.m. If convicted on the felony second degree charge of aggravated indecent assault, Cosby faces five to 10 years behind bars and a $25,000 fine.
Courtesy: Montgomery County DA
In the hours before Cosby's arraignment, an arrest warrant for the comedian was issued over the 2004 case alleging he drugged and sexually violated former Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia-area home. Although a judge originally dismissed the case in 2005, the charges filed Wednesday were the result of new evidence that came forth this summer.
"A prosecutor's job is to follow the evidence wherever it leads and whenever it comes to light," said First Assistant D.A. Kevin R. Steele in a statement Wednesday. "Upon examination of all of the evidence, today we are able to seek justice on behalf of Mr. Cosby's victim.."
Per NBC News, Constand was not specifically named during Wednesday's conference, but Steele said the woman, "has indicated that she is willing to cooperate with us going forward."
—Additional reporting by Lindsay Good & Baker Machado
For more on Cosby arraignment and what's next, tune in to E! News tonight at 7 and 11 p.m.
(Originally published Dec. 30, 2015 at 3:05 p.m. PST)