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Bill Cosby to stand trial for sexual assault

Bill Cosby at a court hearing.
Bill Cosby at a court hearing.
Dominick Reuter/Pool via Getty Images

Bill Cosby will stand trial in Pennsylvania for a sexual assault that allegedly took place in 2004, a judge ordered on Tuesday.

The trial will come after years of mounting allegations against Cosby, which began in part after comedian Hannibal Buress put a spotlight on the issue. Nearly 60 women have publicly accused Cosby of sexual misconduct over the past four decades, typically alleging that the comedian drugged and assaulted them.

In the case sending Cosby to trial, Andrea Constand accused Cosby of assaulting her.

Cosby is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault, a first-degree felony, and the first criminal charges against the comedian. The assault allegedly took place at Cosby's home in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

Some of the allegations against Cosby could not be prosecuted due to limits imposed by states' statutes of limitations. But this charge, rooted in a 2004 assault, happened in the 12-year time window in Pennsylvania law.

In July, the Associated Press reported on a 2005 deposition in which Cosby said he had purchased Quaaludes, a type of sedative, with the intent of giving them to women he planned to have sex with. Cosby didn't admit that he gave the sedative to women without their permission, but it certainly seems damning in light of all the accusations against him.

To learn more about the allegations, check out Vox's full explainer: