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Cosby's first major hearing gets new date

Prosecutors will have to bring the case against Bill Cosby before a judge at a preliminary hearing next month before it can move forward toward trial.
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Court officials have announced thenew date for Bill Cosby's preliminary hearing on sex assault charges.

Bill Cosby's preliminary hearing was postponed from this coming Thursday to Tuesday, Feb. 2, court officials announced.

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The hearing, which is certain to attract attention fromnational media, was originally scheduled for a tiny magisterial district court in Elkins Park. It is now set to be held in Montgomery County Court in Norristown, Pa.

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The preliminary hearing is a crucial procedural step in the Pennsylvania criminal justice system — at which prosecutors must present aprima faciecase against the defendant, proving that they have sufficient evidence to bring charges to the hearing's judge, who will evaluate the evidence and rule if the case can be moved forward toward trial. A judge can alsothrow all charges out at this hearing.

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It may include testimony by Andrea Constand, the former Temple University employee andalleged victim whose claims that Cosby drugged and sexually violated her in 2004 are the basis of the criminal case.

Cosby is charged with three counts of indecent sex assault for the incident. He could face a sentence of 10 years in prison.

 
 
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