Judge states Bill Cosby should testify again for sexual assault allegation dating back to 1974

Bill Cosby arrives at court in the US to face sexual assault charges for the first time

Bill Cosby, allegations, sexual assault, court, Gloria Allred, civil lawsuit, Andrea Constan

In this file photo Bill Cosby, centre, accompanied by his attorneys Brian McMonagle, left, and Monique Pressley, arrives at court in Elkins Park, Pa. | Image: Matt Rourke / AP/Press Association Images

Updated 21.40:

A judge in California says Bill Cosby should have to testify again over an allegation dating back to 1974.

The comedian and actor is accused of sexually assaulting a girl at the Playboy Mansion when she was 15.

He's been in court in Philadelphia today for a pre-trial hearing relating to an allegation from 2004.

The lawyer representing 29 women who claim they were sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby says they deserve their day in court.

Gloria Allred's comments come as the entertainer's lawyers try to get the only criminal case lodged against the TV star - from the dozens of accusations - thrown out by a judge.

The defence team will argue that the star, who has arrived in court today, had a deal with Philadelphia prosecutor Bruce Castor in 2005 that he would not be prosecuted and should testify freely in a civil lawsuit brought by Andrea Constand.

Cosby admitted in that deposition that he had a series of affairs with models and actresses, had obtained Quaaludes sedatives to give to women before sex, and gave Ms Constand three pills before an encounter at his home in January 2004.

He said it was consensual but she said she was drugged and violated.

That testimony, which was only revealed last year, prompted Mr Castor's successor to reopen the case and ultimately charge the 78-year-old with felony sexual assault.

Cosby, who has repeatedly denied wrongdoing over the sexual assault claims, has not entered a plea in relation to the charge.

Ms Allred says there is a "strong argument" for the criminal case to go ahead.

She added: "Many women have made serious accusations of drugging and raping against Mr Cosby".

"Some of Mr Cosby's supporters have been saying he should be able to have his day in court and yet the fact that he could have a day in court in the criminal case is something he is seeking to dismiss".

"It is important that there be a day in court not only for alleged victims such as my client Judy Huth, such as Andrea Constand, who is a named alleged victim in the criminal case, but everyone should be able to have a jury decide this case so that there can be accountability and justice".

In an unusual twist, Mr Castor is set to be the defence's key witness on Tuesday.

He insists he made an oral "non-prosecution" agreement with Walter Phillips Jr, a lawyer for Cosby who died last year.

It is up to Common Pleas Judge Steven O'Neill to decide whether the case should be thrown out, although there is no indication of how long he could take.