2005 is shaping up to be a big year for celebrity trials, but one star you aren't likely to see on the docket is Bill Cosby. On Thursday, a Pennsylvania prosecutor said that the 67-year-old comic would not face any charges based on the recent allegations of a younger woman that he drugged and groped her at his home outside Philadelphia a year ago. Investigators found insufficient evidence to support her claims, Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor Jr. said in a statement.
The woman, a former employee of the athletic department at Temple University (the alma mater to which Cosby maintains strong ties) had alleged that, after she and others dined at a restaurant with Cosby last January, she returned with him to his home in Cheltenham, where Cosby responded to her complaint of stress by giving her pills that made her dizzy. While she was dazed, she told police, she recalled Cosby touching her breast and putting her hand on his genitals. When she woke up, she said, her bra was undone and her clothes were in disarray. She said she didn't report the incident immediately out of fear of losing her job, which she has since left. But Castor cited that delay, along with the woman's continued contact with Cosby in the year since the alleged incident, as factors influencing his decision not to pursue charges against the comic.
Responding to Castor's statement, Cosby attorney Walter Phillips Jr. (who had initially denied the allegations, calling them ''utterly preposterous'') said his client was gratified by the decision. ''Mr. Cosby looks forward to moving on with his life,'' Phillips told the Associated Press. But the accuser's attorney, Dolores Troiani, said that her client's evidence against Cosby was strong, and that the woman would likely sue him. ''I think that's the only avenue open to her,'' Troiani told AP.