Bill Cosby Sexual Assault Case Will Proceed, Preliminary Hearing Date Set for May

by Jackie Willis 12:51 PM PDT, April 26, 2016
Photo: Getty Images

Bill Cosby is scheduled to return to court on charges that he allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004.

In February, Cosby's lawyers argued that a previous deal with a former district attorney forbid the courts from prosecuting the comedian on these criminal charges.

A judge then subsequently ruled that prosecutors could go forward with the case, but Cosby's legal team appealed the ruling on March 1, and got a stay placed on the proceedings, pending the decision on whether to reject the appeal.

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On Monday, a Superior Court judge in Norristown, Pennsylvania, lifted the stay and ruled that the criminal case against the 78-year-old Cosby Show star can move forward. A preliminary hearing has been set for May 24.

This is the first criminal case that Cosby will have to face, though numerous women have brought civil cases against him, claiming they too were sexually assaulted.

Cosby was charged in December for the alleged incident that is said to have taken place in January 2004. Constand alleges that Cosby drugged and violated her at his mansion in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. The charge against him carries a maximum penalty of 5-10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

Cosby has never been charged in any other criminal case regarding any of these accusations, and has repeatedly denied that any of these allegations are true.

WATCH: Bill Cosby Appears in Court for Sexual Assault Charge -- Former D.A. Explains Why He Didn't Prosecute