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Neurosurgery Professor Tracy McIntosh, who has been charged with raping a woman in his on-campus office in the fall, is attempting to negotiate a plea agreement with the city and will appear at a preliminary hearing later this month.

The hearing, originally scheduled for May 1, had been continued until yesterday, but was further postponed at the request of the district attorney, according to Tom Bergstrom, McIntosh's attorney. It could occur on May 27, although Bergstrom is hoping for an earlier date next week.

McIntosh is accused of raping a 23-year-old woman, whom the Daily News reported is on deferred admission status from the School of Veterinary Medicine and is the niece of a friend of his. The alleged incident took place in his Hayden Hall office after McIntosh reportedly smoked marijuana with her.

According to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office Web site, McIntosh, a married father of two, has been charged with "rape, indecent assault, false imprisonment and related charges for sexually assaulting a a woman in his office at the University of Pennsylvania."

McIntosh surrendered to police on April 24, but has not admitted to any charges.

Bergstrom said he could not discuss what the terms of a potential plea agreement could be, but called it "a fair assessment" to assume that McIntosh will not plead guilty to a rape charge.

"Hopefully, we'll reach the agreement and that will resolve it," Bergstrom said. If an agreement is not reached, the case will go to trial.

Bergstrom said "it was the DA's move" to postpone yesterday's scheduled hearing.

"I hope we can do it next week if the DA is available," he said. It "really depends on her now."

McIntosh, who has been at the University since 1992 and served as director of the Head Injury Center and vice chair of research in the Neurosurgery Department in addition to working as a professor of neurosurgery, pharmacology and bioengineering, has been on leave from the University since April 23. He is a well-known expert on injuries to the central nervous system, former president of the National Neurotrauma Society and a former Fulbright Fellow.

Earlier this month, Philadelphia Police officer Sheila Smith said that there had been "an ongoing investigation" into the incident, but would not say when it was first reported. Rebecca Harmon, spokeswoman for the University Health System, had also said that Penn first became aware of the allegations "about two and a half months after the alleged events" and responded with an internal investigation that "could not produce any information corroborating her version of events."

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