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Bill Cosby Ordered to Stand Trial in Pennsylvania Sex Assault Case

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Bill Cosby in a Dec. 30, 2015 booking photo released by the Cheltenham Township, PA Police Department.(MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Penn.) — A Pennsylvania judge has ruled Bill Cosby must stand trial in the case of a woman who has accused the comedian of sexually assaulting her a dozen years ago.

Cosby appeared in court Tuesday in Montgomery County, PA, after an application to delay the indecent assault case against him was denied Monday.

This could be the first time in years that Cosby, 78, comes face-to-face with his accuser, Andrea Constand.  She did not appear in court today.

District Judge Elizabeth McHugh heard portions of Constand’s statements to police. Although Cosby’s defense was quick to point out alleged discrepancies in his accuser’s previous statements, the judge found enough evidence to proceed to a criminal trial.

Last December, Montgomery County First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele brought an aggravated indecent assault charge against Cosby, stemming from an alleged incident a decade or so earlier.

Lawyers for Cosby fought to have the charge dismissed, claiming that it was brought “illegally, improperly and unethically.” They also asked to disqualify Steele from the case, though both motions were denied.

Constand, a former Temple University employee, claimed in 2005 that the year before, Cosby sexually assaulted her after giving her pills and wine, which rendered her unresponsive. Cosby was deposed in 2005, and his comments were publicly released last year. In those statements, he allegedly admitted to giving Quaaludes to one woman in the past, but described his encounter with Constand as consensual.

Cosby’s legal team has repeatedly denied the sexual allegations against him.

“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,” his lawyers said in a previous 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.”

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