Allegra Kirkland

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

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For nearly 12 years, comedian Bill Cosby dodged criminal charges for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in his Pennsylvania home in 2004.

He tried to make it go away himself in 2005, before the police got involved, but Constand went to the police anyway.

They investigated, but the then-prosecutor declined to bring charges.

A civil lawsuit Constand then filed against Cosby was settled under seal in 2006, with few of the details becoming public.

And there things remained for nine years, until the number of women going public with decades-old stories of Cosby drugging and sexually assaulting them became overwhelming. With the allegations against Cosby mounting, the Associated Press sought access to the sealed records in Constand's civil suit, and in July of this year, a federal judge ordered their release.

The case documents contained some of the most damning evidence against Cosby, in his own words. It prompted renewed interest in the case by a new prosecutor in the suburban Philadelphia community where Cosby lives.

The timeline of how the case almost went away forever, then came roaring back to life, was laid out in a police affidavit made public Wednesday along with the first criminal charges against the iconic entertainer.

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Bail was set at $1 million for comedian Bill Cosby, who was arraigned Wednesday afternoon at a courthouse in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania on felony sexual assault charges. After his arraignment, Cosby was taken to a nearby police precinct where he was fingerprinted and had a mugshot taken.

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This post was updated at 10:42 a.m. ET

The Montgomery, Pennsylvania District Attorney's office on Wednesday charged Bill Cosby with aggravated indecent assault—a felony—for sexually abusing a woman at his home in Cheltenham Township. These are the first criminal charges brought against the comedian.

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After a Washington Post cartoonist depicted Sen. Ted Cruz’s daughters as props in his presidential campaign, the Texas senator fired back with a cartoon of his own. In a hastily Photoshopped drawing posted on Twitter Wednesday, the Post and New York Times appear as the “lapdogs” for his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

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