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FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2017, file photo, Bill Cosby departs after a pretrial hearing in his sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. Jury selection in Bill Cosby's criminal sex assault case is set to get underway May 22 in Pittsburgh. But the trial will be held nearly 300 miles away in suburban Philadelphia, with opening statements to start June 5. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)
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Cosby loses bid to question accuser before trial

FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2017, file photo, Bill Cosby departs after a pretrial hearing in his sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. Jury selection in Bill Cosby's criminal sex assault case is set to get underway May 22 in Pittsburgh. But the trial will be held nearly 300 miles away in suburban Philadelphia, with opening statements to start June 5. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bill Cosby has lost his bid to question his accuser in court before his sexual-assault case goes to trial near Philadelphia.

The 79-year-old comedian’s lawyers lost their appeal on the issue of whether accuser Andrea Constand should have been forced to testify at a preliminary hearing last year.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to take up Cosby’s appeal.

Pennsylvania case law allows prosecutors to use an accuser’s statements to police in court to spare victims the ordeal of having to testify repeatedly.

Cosby is charged with drugging and molesting Constand in 2004. He has pleaded not guilty and remains free on $1 million bail.

Jury selection is set to get underway next month.

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