Bill Cosby was arraigned Wednesday on a felony assault charge stemming from a sexual encounter with a woman 12 years ago.
Wearing a spotted gray hooded sweater, Cosby was walked into the brick courthouse in Elkins Park, Pa., flanked by a man and a woman. The comedian held a briefcase and cane, and he nearly tripped on the sidewalk outside the courthouse entrance as cameras covered his every move.
Cosby posted 10 percent of his $1 million bail in cash.
Magisterial District Judge Elizabeth A. McHugh cautioned that she didn't want any commotion in the courtroom before asking Cosby if he understood the charges against him. Cosby said he did, and surrendered his passport to the prosecutor. Cosby was also ordered not to make contact with the alleged victim.
About 15 minutes after he arrived, the actor left the courthouse, shaking his head as reporters asked him comment.
Montgomery County First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele said earlier Wednesday in a press conference that Cosby was "charged with aggravated indecent assault."
Aggravated indecent assault is punishable by up to 10 years behind bars.
Former Temple University employee Andrea Constand told police the comedian drugged and violated her at his home near Philadelphia in 2004.
"Mr. Cosby made two sexual advances at her that were rejected," Steele said. "Mr. Cosby urged her to take pills that he provided to her and to drink wine... He committed aggravated indecent assault against her."
She was "frozen, paralyzed, unable to move," Steele said in announcing the charges.
The once-celebrated actor previously said under oath in a deposition that he had consensual sexual contact with Constand.
In the deposition, Cosby said he put his hands down Constand's pants that night and fondled her, taking her silence as a green light. Constand maintains she was semi-conscious after he gave her pills he said would relax her.
Her lawyer has said Constand is gay and was dating a woman around the time she met Cosby in the early 2000s.
A previous district attorney declined to charge Cosby in 2005.
Regarding how the case was previously handled, Steele simply stated, "I’m not going to look at the past… It’s not a time to Monday morning quarterback."
Prosecutors reopened the case over the summer as damaging testimony was unsealed in a related civil lawsuit against Cosby and as dozens of other women came forward with similar accusations that made a mockery of his image as the wise and understanding Dr. Cliff Huxtable from TV's "The Cosby Show."
Many of those alleged assaults date back decades, and the statute of limitations for bringing charges has expired in nearly every case. But Pennsylvania law gives prosecutors up to 12 years for some sex crimes, with the clock running out on this case in January.
"This is the charge that we have the ability to go forward [with] under that statute of limitations," Steele said of the aggravated indecent assault charge.
Steele urged other victims or people with more information about Cosby to come forward and contact police.
"There are other alleged victims, and we are examining evidence in that," he said. "The charge that we are [announcing] here today involves one victim."
Constand settled her lawsuit against Cosby in 2006 on confidential terms.
"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," Cosby's attorney, Monique Pressley, said in a statement.
"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."
The AP generally does not identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they agree to have their names published, as Constand has done.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.