May 22, 2017 marked the next phase in the highly publicized criminal trial of Bill Cosby, as prosecutors and defense attorneys began the jury selection process in Pittsburgh, PA. CBS Philly reports that the famous comedian is facing charges on three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault, which allegedly occurred during a 2004 encounter with a woman at his suburban Philadelphia mansion. Cosby has pledged his innocence during the last year and a half’s worth of hearings, stating that the incident involving his accuser was consensual sexual activity. State law treats sexual offenses very seriously, and the criminal penalties of a conviction in the Cosby case could include several years in prison, probation, and other punishments. If you’re facing charges of aggravated indecent assault under similar circumstances, retaining a Pennsylvania attorney with experience in sexual offenses is critical.
The crime of indecent assault involves bringing a victim into contact with such bodily substances as semen, urine, or feces. Other elements of the crime include:
In some cases, the age of both the victim and offender are key. If the victim is between 13 and 15 years old, there is the presumption that he or she cannot consent.
These elements are why Cosby is charged with felony counts of aggravated indecent assault. The victim has alleged that he gave her some pills to relax in the face of a stressful situation. The woman has testified that it was during a period of unconsciousness after taking the pills that the assault took place.
Sentencing for a conviction depends upon the specific circumstances of the case. An indecent assault may be treated as a felony or misdemeanor. However, aggravated indecent assault is always a felony. If convicted, Cosby may face up to 10 years in prison.
Sex crimes like aggravated indecent assault carry significant penalties if you’re convicted, so it’s important to consult with a skilled criminal defense lawyer that will protect your interests. Depending on your case, there may be defenses available to dismiss or reduce the charges. Only a highly qualified attorney can help identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and fight for your rights. The lawyers at the Skinner Law Firm have comprehensive knowledge of the law regarding sexual offenses and criminal procedural rules, and will present all available defenses. Please contact our West Chester, PA office with questions or to schedule a consultation.