In December, a 24-year-old model named Chloe Goins told the Daily Mail that Bill Cosby had sexually assaulted her. Goins said that in 2008, when she was 18, she met Cosby at the Playboy mansion, drank a mixed drink he handed her, passed out, then woke up to find herself naked in a bed, with Cosby masturbating over her and licking her toes. Today, Goins met with police to pursue formal criminal charges against Cosby in Los Angeles.
Since 2000, 32 women have gone public with accusations that Cosby drugged or sexually assaulted them. Most of them came forward after the statute of limitations for filing criminal charges and civil suits related to the incidents had expired, but some have tried, and failed, to make criminal charges stick. In 2000, 20-year-old actress Lachele Covington filed a police report in New York City accusing Cosby of grabbing her hand and guiding it down his sweatpants; police determined that no crime had occurred. And in 2005, Temple University employee Andrea Constand told Ontario police that Cosby had fed her a pill, “touched her breasts and vaginal area, rubbed his penis against her hand, and digitally penetrated” her in Pennsylvania; a local prosecutor declined to pursue charges, citing lack of evidence. Constand later sued Cosby in civil court and settled for an undisclosed amount. In December, Judy Huth filed her own lawsuit against Cosby, alleging that he’d fed her alcohol and sexually assaulted her at the Playboy mansion in the 1970s, when she was 15 years old.
“Ms. Goins is now determined to accomplish what so many other victims no longer have the opportunity to do—to be the girl that puts Mr. Cosby behind bars, where he belongs,” Goins’ attorney, Spencer Kuvin, said in a statement today. Kuvin acknowledged that Goins’ decision lays an “immense responsibility” on her shoulders, but she’ll have at least some help from the LAPD, which has pledged to investigate any reports against Cosby filed in Los Angeles, even for incidents that fall outside the statute of limitations. (It’s not yet clear if Goins’ claims do). Officers have already begun looking into Huth’s allegations, and have urged others with information to come forward. In November, as the claims against Cosby mounted, Cosby lawyer John P. Schmitt said in a statement that “Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment.” This time, he may not have a choice.