Decade later, Cosby could face accuser behind sex charges

bill cosby sexual assault charge pennsylvania
Comedian Bill Cosby stumbles as he arrives for a court appearance in Elkins Park, Pa., Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015. Cosby was arrested and charged with drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home in January 2004. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The Toronto woman at the heart of Bill Cosby’s criminal sex-assault case could face the TV legend in court this month at his scheduled preliminary hearing.

Lawyers for Andrea Constand say she is ready to testify.

But suburban Philadelphia prosecutors could decide not to call her at the May 24 hearing to avoid a grueling cross-examination before trial.

They could instead use her police statement under new Pennsylvania case law that allows hearsay evidence at pretrial hearings.

The ruling spares crime victims the ordeal of repeated court appearances.

Constand is now 43 and says she was drugged and molested at Cosby’s home in 2004.

Prosecutors initially declined to arrest him, but armed with new evidence brought charges in December.

The 78-year-old Cosby has asked the state Supreme Court to delay the hearing and dismiss the case.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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