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Bill Cosby heads to court for pre-trial hearing

Press Trust of India  |  Los Angeles 

Bill Cosby is due to be back in next month for a pre-trial hearing in his aggravated indecent assault case.

The "Cosby Show" veteran is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his home in Pennsylvania in 2004.

He was not charged at the time of the incident and maintains his innocence, but he faced questioning in 2005 and 2006 as part of Constand's civil suit, which was subsequently settled out of

The case was reopened last year after the actor's sealed deposition was made public, revealing Cosby had confessed to buying sedatives to give to women he wanted to sleep with.

He was arrested and charged in December last year, and during a pre-trial hearing last month, Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill ordered the case to go to trial no later than June 5.

Earlier this month, Cosby's lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the case or have Constand testify at a new preliminary hearing, arguing a Montgomery County district attorney pledged not to prosecute Cosby in 2005.

The motion was denied on Wednesday.

The 79-year-old will now return to next month for a pre-trial hearing, in which it will be determined if jurors will be able to hear testimony from 13 other women who have accused Cosby of indecent sexual acts, reported People magazine.

However, his attorneys will reportedly argue, Cosby, who is now legally blind, is unable to recognise the accusers or remember the alleged incidents.

"Because of the commonwealth's delay, Mr. Cosby can no longer defend himself," defence lawyers Brian McMonagle and Angela Agrusa wrote last week in a motion to dismiss the charges.

"Compounding the problem are the vague allegations of many of the accusers about the time and place of the alleged incidents."

More than 50 women have come forward with decades-old accusations of inappropriate behaviour, drugging and/or rape against Cosby since late 2014. The statute of limitations has expired in almost all of the cases, preventing the alleged victims from pursuing criminal charges.

The embattled comedian has denied all allegations, and his legal team has tried and failed on numerous occasions to have his current assault charges dismissed.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, October 17 2016. 15:07 IST