Cosby arrives in court in Pennsylvania sex-assault case

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Bill Cosby arrived in court Tuesday for a key hearing on whether prosecutors have enough evidence to put the 78-year-old comedian on trial on charges he drugged and sexually assaulted a woman over a decade ago.

Cosby walked into the Montgomery County courthouse on the arm of an aide, waving to people waiting outside. He looked healthier than he did when he was charged in December, and was not carrying a cane this time.

It was not immediately known whether his accuser, Andrea Constand, would testify at the preliminary hearing or whether authorities would instead read her police statement into the record.

Cosby is accused of molesting the former Temple University athletic department employee at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004. The TV star known as America’s Dad could get 10 years in prison if convicted of indecent sexual assault.

Prosecutors said he gave Constand three unidentified blue pills, rendering her unable to cry out or resist.

Cosby said it was consensual sexual activity.

Prosecutors reopened the case last year after dozens of women leveled similar allegations and after Cosby’s sealed deposition in Constand’s lawsuit was made public.

He settled her lawsuit for an undisclosed sum in 2006 after testifying about his extramarital affairs, his use of quaaludes to seduce women and his efforts to hide payments to former lovers from his wife.

The disclosures and the barrage of allegations have all but destroyed Cosby’s nice-guy image from TV’s “Cosby Show.”

Cosby’s lawyers are trying to get the case thrown out, arguing that a previous prosecutor a decade ago made a binding promise that the comic would never be charged. On Monday, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court rejected a request to delay the preliminary hearing while he pursues a dismissal.

Cosby has not entered a plea since his Dec. 30 arrest. He is free on $1 million bail.

He is also fighting defamation lawsuits across the country for allegedly branding his accusers liars and is trying to get his homeowner insurance to pay his legal bills.

Constand is now a massage therapist in Toronto.

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