Sexual Assault

Carolyn Kaster / AP

A Democratic state senator is introducing legislation to bar non-disclosure agreements in Pennsylvania from attempting to stop people from reporting claims of sexual misconduct.

The bill introduced Wednesday by Berks County Sen. Judith Schwank would also prohibit Pennsylvania courts from enforcing such agreements in civil lawsuits over sexual misconduct allegations.

It would void pre-existing agreements when a party to it entered it while under duress, impaired or a minor.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

A lawsuit filed Monday against the Allegheny County Jail and its administration claims the jail allowed a transgender inmate to be repeatedly sexually abused while she was incarcerated with male inmates.

The suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and The Law Offices of Timothy O’Brien on behalf of Jules Williams is seeking damages.

Ex-Prosecutor: Cosby Paid Accuser Millions Of Dollars

Nov 6, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

A former prosecutor claims his decision in 2005 not to charge Bill Cosby with drugging and molesting a woman led to the comedian paying his accuser a settlement "well into the millions of dollars."

Bruce Castor's assertion in a lawsuit Thursday against the accuser, Andrea Constand, and her lawyers is the first time anyone has put a value on the confidential settlement.

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

In the wake of sexual harassment and assault claims against Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and others,  dozens of female legislators, lobbyists, consultants, and reporters have come forward in the last few weeks to talk about sexism and harassment they've dealt with in their respective statehouses.

Bystander Rape-Prevention Programs Face Questions

Oct 9, 2017
Keith Srakocic / AP

Training programs around the country are trying to teach bystanders to stop sexual assault, and now is when they have to be especially alert. Campus sexual assault reports are so common at the beginning of the fall semester, college administrators call this time of year the "red zone."

Penn State University sends campus-wide text alerts when someone has been sexually assaulted. During the last academic year, there were 29 campus text alerts about sexual assaults at the university's main campus, and half of them were issued in the first ten weeks of school.

Cosby Fan Gets Hearing After Allegedly Recording Trial's End

Jul 12, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

Court officials in Montgomery County have set a hearing for a woman described as a fan of Bill Cosby who allegedly recorded the defense's closing arguments in the entertainer's criminal trial last month.

Anitra Burrows, 37, of Collegeville, will appear before President Judge Thomas DelRicci in a 9:30 contempt of court hearing Thursday in Norristown, according to a scheduling order filed by the court.

Juror: 2 Holdouts In Cosby's Trial Refused To Convict

Jun 22, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

After 52 hours of tense deliberations, two holdouts in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial refused to convict the 79-year-old comedian, a juror told ABC News.

The juror, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said 10 of the 12 jurors agreed that Cosby was guilty on the first and third felony counts. And only one of the jurors thought he was guilty on the second count.

The two holdouts were "not moving, no matter what," the juror told the network.

Jurors initially voted overwhelmingly to acquit Cosby on all three counts of aggravated indecent assault, the juror said.

Matt Slocum / AP

Prosecutors in suburban Philadelphia plan to retry Bill Cosby after his two-week sexual assault trial ended Saturday in a mistrial, with the jury unable to reach a unanimous decision on any of the three counts. Cosby is accused of sexually assaulting a woman at his home near Philadelphia in 2004. The entertainer says what happened was consensual.

Some key things to know about the retrial:

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WHEN WILL IT BE?

5th Day Of Deliberations Begins At Cosby's Sex Assault Trial

Jun 16, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

Bill Cosby is thanking his fans and supporters as a jury considers sexual assault charges that could send him to prison for the rest of his life.

Cosby tweeted the message on Friday shortly after jurors asked to review his lurid testimony about giving quaaludes to women he wanted to have sex with. 

Jurors considering the fate of Cosby at his sexual assault trial returned for a fifth day of deliberations on Friday, a day after telling the judge they were deadlocked on all charges.

Tensions Rise As Bill Cosby Jury Struggles To Reach Verdict

Jun 15, 2017
Matt Slocum / AP

As deliberations in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial continue into a fourth day Thursday, nerves are frayed, patience is shot and no one is certain when it will all end.

Some jurors appeared angry, the judge sounded exasperated and accuser Andrea Constand's mother broke down in tears Wednesday.

The sequestered jury has been at it for more than 27 hours since getting the case Monday, pausing a half-dozen times to revisit key evidence, including Cosby's decade-old admissions that he fondled Constand after giving her pills.

Cosby Jury Reviews Accuser's Testimony Amid Deliberations

Jun 14, 2017
Matt Slocum / AP

Jurors in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial reviewed portions of his accuser's testimony Wednesday as they deliberated for a third day over whether the 79-year-old star drugged and molested her at his suburban Philadelphia estate.

Jurors made the request to have portions of Andrea Constand's testimony read back to them after deliberating about 21 hours without reaching a verdict in a case that has already helped demolish Cosby's nice-guy reputation.

Constand, 44, who spent seven hours on the stand last week, was in the gallery as the jury scrutinized her story.

The Charges Against Bill Cosby And The Sentences They Carry

Jun 13, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

The fate of entertainer Bill Cosby on sexual assault charges is in the hands of a jury near Philadelphia, which began deliberations Monday.

A look at the charges, and the punishment he could face if convicted:

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WHAT IS COSBY ACCUSED OF?

Cosby Lawyer Tells Jury Comedian And Accuser Were Lovers

Jun 12, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

Bill Cosby's trial raced toward a close Monday, with his lawyer telling the jury that the comedian and the woman who accuses him of drugging and molesting her were lovers who had enjoyed secret "romantic interludes."

Declining to take the stand in his own defense, the 79-year-old TV star left it to his attorney to argue that Cosby's 2004 sexual encounter with Andrea Constand was consensual. Lawyer Brian McMonagle said in his closing argument that while Cosby had been unfaithful to his wife, he didn't commit a crime.

Matt Rourke / AP

Prosecutors' case against Bill Cosby drew toward a close Friday with the jury hearing the comedian's damaging, decade-old testimony about giving quaaludes to women he wanted to have sex with.

Testifying under oath in 2005, the TV star said he had obtained several prescriptions for the now-banned sedative in the 1970s but didn't take them himself, according to the deposition read to the jury.

"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 was asked.

"Yes," he said.

Dana Difilippo / NewsWorks

For three days, the sound outside of the Montgomery County Courthouse, where Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial is unfolding, has been the steady rumble of TV news trucks, punctuated by bursts of reporters shouting questions at the elderly entertainer, his attorneys, the celebrities du jour who accompany him, and anyone else who looks remotely important.

Thursday, Helen Reddy belted out her female-empowerment anthem “I Am Woman.”

Jury May Soon Hear From Cosby, Even If He Doesn't Take Stand

Jun 8, 2017
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / AP, Pool

A jury that heard seven hours of testimony from a woman who says Bill Cosby drugged and assaulted her may soon hear from Cosby himself — even if he doesn't take the stand.

Prosecutors are expected to show jurors an earlier deposition in which Cosby said that he routinely gave women pills and alcohol before sexual encounters and gave at least one of them quaaludes, a now-banned sedative.

The suburban Philadelphia jury on Wednesday heard trial accuser Andrea Constand offer her most direct denial yet that any of their earlier meetings were romantic.

Cosby's Accuser Stands By Her Story Under Cross-Examination

Jun 7, 2017
Mark Makela / AP, pool

The woman who accuses Bill Cosby of drugging and violating her more than a decade ago stood by her story at his sex-crimes trial Wednesday, withstanding hours of often tedious cross-examination that didn't produce the stumbles the TV star might have hoped for.

Calm and composed, Andrea Constand brushed off suggestions she and Cosby had a romantic relationship before the 2004 encounter at his suburban Philadelphia home.

Cosby's Accuser Says She Was Drugged, Groped; 'I Was Frozen'

Jun 6, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP, Pool

Bill Cosby's chief accuser took the stand at his sexual assault trial Tuesday to tell her story publicly for the first time, saying the comedian groped her after giving her three blue pills that left her paralyzed and helpless.

"In my head, I was trying to get my hands to move or my legs to move, but I was frozen," Andrea Constand, a 44-year-old former employee of the basketball program at Temple University, Cosby's alma mater, said in their long-awaited courtroom confrontation. "I wasn't able to fight in any way."

She added: "I wanted it to stop."

Cosby's Lawyer Attacks 1 Accuser As Sex Assault Trial Opens

Jun 6, 2017
Matt Slocum / AP

Bill Cosby's lawyer asked jurors not to view him as a fallen celebrity on trial in a sexual assault case, but as a flawed man "whose infidelities have made him vulnerable" to these types of accusations.

Cosby, 79, the champion of fatherhood and family values, walked into court on the first day of the trial Monday without his wife of more than 50 years, Camille, or any of their four daughters. He was instead joined by a TV daughter, Keshia Knight Pulliam, who was 5 when he made her a child star on the "The Cosby Show."

Bill Cosby Goes On Trial, His Freedom And Legacy At Stake

Jun 5, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP, file

Bill Cosby went on trial Monday on charges he drugged and sexually assaulted a woman more than a decade ago, with a prosecutor warning the jury not to fall into the trap of confusing the 79-year-old comedian with the beloved family man he played on TV.

Brad Bower/Matt Rourke / AP

Penn State's former president and two other ex-administrators were sentenced Friday to at least two months in jail for failing to report a child sexual abuse allegation against Jerry Sandusky a decade before his arrest engulfed the university in scandal and brought down football coach Joe Paterno.

Final Cosby Jury Selections Made In Allegheny County

May 24, 2017
Gene J. Puskar / AP

**UPDATED: 6:12 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Half of the new jury pool being questioned Wednesday in Bill Cosby's sexual assault case said they've formed an opinion on his guilt or innocence, and another knows Cosby or his family.

All 12 jurors and six alternates have been chosen this week for the case starting June 5 in suburban Philadelphia. Those who have opinions weren't necessarily disqualified if they convinced the judge they could put that aside and focus on the evidence.

Cosby's lawyers have complained about prosecutors striking two black women.

Defense Raises Race Bias In Cosby Jury Selection Process

May 24, 2017
Gene J. Puskar / AP

With just one black person seated among the first 11 jurors chosen for Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial, defense lawyers are crying foul and accusing prosecutors of trying to systematically keep blacks off the jury.

The lawyers returned to court on Wednesday in Pittsburgh to pick a 12th juror and six alternates. Cosby arrived Wednesday just before 8 a.m.

For now, Judge Steven O'Neill has rejected the race bias argument.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

*UPDATED: May 22, 2017 at 5:39 p.m.

The panel that will decide Bill Cosby's fate in his sex assault trial began to take shape Monday with the selection of five jurors, three white men and two white women.

The search for 12 jurors and six alternates was expected to take several days. Experts believe lawyers on both sides will be considering race, sex, age, occupation and interests of potential jurors.

Brian Cohen

Leaders from local colleges and universities met last week to pledge protection for sexual assault victims amid national concerns about the fate of Title IX under the Trump administration.

Judge Rules Bill Cosby Case To Be Decided By Outside Jury

Feb 27, 2017
Bill Fraser/Bucks County Courrier Times / via AP Pool

 A jury from outside the Philadelphia suburbs will be brought in to decide the sexual assault case against Bill Cosby, a judge ruled Monday, rejecting a defense request to move the trial itself because of worldwide media reports that brand the actor a "serial rapist."

Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill said jurors will remain sequestered during Cosby's June trial on charges that he drugged and molested a former Temple University employee in 2004.

martinak15 / Flickr

For thousands of left-leaning men and women last week, Election Night was the culmination of a political nightmare they’d assumed would be over. 

One staple in just about every sexual assault prevention program is the video vignette. It's usually a play-acted scenario used to teach students what crosses the line.

Now, the videotape of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump bragging about groping and kissing women is quickly becoming the classic real-life case study.

After a video surfaced last week showing Donald Trump boasting in 2005 how he would kiss and grope women without consent, the GOP nominee insisted in Sunday's presidential debate that it was just "locker room talk" and, pressed repeatedly by CNN's Anderson Cooper, finally said that he had never actually taken the action he described.

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