Bill Cosby has been booked on a sexual assault charge in suburban Philadelphia, marking the start of criminal proceedings and another milestone in his fall from grace after dozens of women have come forward to accuse the 78-year-old entertainer of drugging and raping them.
Cosby pleaded not guilty to the charge of aggravated indecent assault at a brief arraignment, where bail was set at $1 million. After his booking, Cosby was released after arranging for a wire transfer of his bail money earlier in the day.
A haggard-looking Cosby arrived at the courthouse in Elkins Park, Pa., around 2:30 p.m. ET. He shook his head “no” when pressed by reporters for comment as he walked into the building, led on either side by attorneys. He carried a cane and leather satchel and wore a gray flecked hooded sweater and black sweatpants.
A crowd gathered outside the courthouse in anticipation of Cosby’s arrival. As he walked in, a woman could be heard shouting “you’re a monster” while a man’s voice was heard shouting supportive comments.
Cosby was charged Wednesday by Montgomery County district attorney’s office with a sexual assault on Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee, at Cosby’s suburban Philadelphia home in early 2004. If convicted, the felony charge is punishable by five to 10 years in jail and a $25,000 fine.
According to local reports, Cosby was forced to turn over his passport in the courtroom. He was told by Magisterial Judge Elizabeth McHugh not to contact Constand. A preliminary hearing was set for Jan. 14.
Cosby kept his head down and made no comment to reporters as he was led in and out of the police station minutes after his arraignment.