By Joseph Ax
(Reuters) - Comedian Bill Cosby is scheduled to return to a Pennsylvania state court on Tuesday, two months after a judge rejected his latest bid to have criminal sexual assault charges dismissed.
The 79-year-old entertainer is accused of drugging and then assaulting Andrea Constand, a former basketball coach at his alma mater Temple University, at his home in 2004.
Cosby is facing similar allegations from about 60 women stretching back decades, though the Constand case is the only one to result in criminal charges, mostly because the other alleged attacks are too old for prosecution.
The former star of the hit 1980s TV series "The Cosby Show," who built a long career on family-friendly comedy, has denied assaulting anyone and portrayed his sexual relationships with the women, including Constand, as consensual.
The hearing is expected to focus on scheduling matters. A trial date has not yet been set. Cosby, who is free on $1 million bail, could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill in July rejected Cosby's claim that his rights were violated at a May preliminary hearing because prosecutors declined to put Constand on the stand.
Cosby's legal team on Tuesday will not include Monique Pressley, a Washington-based attorney who had become the public face of his defence through frequent appearances in the media on his behalf. Pressley has left the case, according to court filings.
Cosby's lawyers are seeking to prevent prosecutors from using a 2005 deposition taken during Constand's civil lawsuit as evidence against him at trial. Cosby acknowledged in the deposition that he had given Quaaludes to various women with whom he had consensual sexual encounters, though he also denied assaulting Constand.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax in New York; Editing by Scott Malone and Matthew Lewis)