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Bill Cosby Will Stand Trial for Assault Charges, Judge Rules

He faces up to 10 years in prison

Liz Raftery

Bill Cosby will be tried in a Pennsylvania criminal court for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman in 2004, CNN reports.

Judge Elizabeth McHugh issued the ruling on Tuesday after a pretrial hearing in which evidence was presented against the comedian, who is charged with three counts of felony indecent assault against Andrea Constand. Constand, an former employee of Temple University, says Cosby gave her drugs and sexually assaulted her at his home in 2004.

A timeline of the assault allegations against Bill Cosby

Cosby, 78, was arraigned on the charges in December and released after posting $1 million bail. If convicted, he could face up to a 10-year prison sentence.

Constand was the first person to publicly accuse Cosby of sexual assault, but the district attorney neglected to file criminal charges against Cosby, and he and Constand settled in civil court in 2006. However, Constand's case was reopened after dozens of other women came forward with similar stories in the last two years, including supermodels Janice Dickinson and Beverly Johnson. Many of Cosby's accusers have exceeded the statute of limitations for bringing sexual assault charges against someone, however.

Cosby has publicly denied the accusations against him, but has admitted to giving women drugs and having sex with them in recently unsealed depositions.