Bill Cosby is a household name, and one that many are familiar with, however, now anytime his name is mentioned accusations of rape seem to be attached to it. In the past year, around 40 women, including some big names, like former model Janice Dickenson, have accused Cosby of drugging them and raping them. However, in the past, dating back to 2005, others have also accused Cosby of sexual assault and have filed lawsuits against him.
In 2005, Andrea Constand, a former employee of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, brought a lawsuit against Cosby for alleged sexual assault. During this lawsuit, Cosby gave an oral deposition under oath. Recently, the deposition testimony was released and in it Cosby admitted to giving drugs, specifically Quaaludes and Benadryl to women in order to have sex with them. In the deposition, Constand's lawyer, according to the Associated Press, asked Cosby: "When you got the quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?" Cosby answered, "yes," to the question.
Cosby has yet to be criminally charged in any of the allegations brought against him, however, civil lawsuits may continue to hang over his head. A good portion of the accusations brought against Cosby are barred by statute of limitations, since the accusations were alleged to take place over a decade ago, protecting him from criminal prosecution.
In Michigan, the statute of limitations for bringing criminal sexual conduct charges varies by the degree of the offense. First-degree criminal sexual conduct, which generally is sexual penetration of a minor under 13 years old, has no statute of limitations, meaning an alleged victim can bring allegations of criminal sexual conduct against anyone at any time, even if it is 40 years after it happens. All other degrees of criminal sexual conduct, as well as assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct, have a ten year statute of limitations after the commission of the offense or by the alleged victim's twenty-first birthday, whichever comes later.
With the release of the 2005 deposition, it is possible that civil lawsuits will be filed against Cosby since his answers to the questions in the deposition show signs of admission and guilt to using drugs to assist in the sexual assaults of women.
It is imperative while dealing with any accusation of criminal sexual conduct that you have adequate representation to assist you through every stage. Criminal sexual conduct allegations, especially those brought by minors, are serious matters that need to be handled by an experienced sex crime attorney. The Law Offices of Shannon M. Smith focuses on defending those accused of sex crimes, which ensures our knowledge of the law and competent defense. If you or a loved one is being accused of criminal sexual conduct, by a minor, or an adult, contact our office to set up a consultation.