Bill Cosby has broken his silence for the first time since being arrested and charged with sexual assault following an alleged incident at his home in 2004.
“Friends and fans, Thank You,” a tweet posted to Cosby’s verified account read on Thursday night.
Friends and fans, Thank You.
— Bill Cosby (@BillCosby) January 1, 2016
The message was the first non-retweet sent by Cosby’s account since August, when the comedian posted a video of his lawyer, Monique Pressley, defending Cosby against a different set of sexual assault allegations. “This might be of interest to you,” Cosby wrote at the time.
Cosby was arraigned on Wednesday in a Pennsylvania court on charges that he had allegedly assaulted Andrea Constand, a former employee at Temple University who considered Cosby her mentor, in 2004. It’s the first time the 78-year-old has been charged with a crime; Cosby has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 50 women.
“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,” Pressley’s office said in a statement this week. “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.”
If convicted of aggravated indecent assault, Cosby could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and fined $25,000. Following his arrest, Cosby was released on $1 million bail and ordered to turn over his passport.