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The trial date for the Penn Neurosurgery professor accused of rape was postponed yesterday, one day before it was set to begin.

According to professor Tracy McIntosh's attorney, Tom Bergstrom, the reason for the postponement was that the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office asked for a continuance -- an extension of the pretrial period.

"We opposed it," Bergstrom said.

However, a spokesman for the District Attorney's Office said that the postponement came as a result of a defense continuance.

Either way, the judge in the case granted the continuance, and the trial date has been postponed but not yet rescheduled.

Bergstrom has also filed a motion to suppress certain evidence that was obtained during the search of McIntosh's on-campus office.

The hearing on the motion is set for April 29, after which a trial date will likely be set.

McIntosh turned himself in to the police in April of last year on accusations of raping a 23-year-old woman in his Hayden Hall office. He was charged with false imprisonment, indecent assault and rape at his arraignment in July. The woman was the niece of one of McIntosh's friends.

McIntosh has pleaded not guilty on all charges and will continue to do so, Bergstrom said. Shortly after McIntosh was charged, Bergstrom said that his client would be willing to make a plea arrangement on the charges as long as the district attorney agreed that rape was not one of them.

The trial is set to be decided by a jury. Once under way, it is expected to last for approximately one week, according to Bergstrom.

This past March, Judge Rayford Means denied a motion filed by the defense to quash charges that McIntosh used the drug Nebutol -- a hypnotic sedative -- to facilitate the rape of the alleged victim.

As a result of the March hearing, Assistant District Attorney Gina Smith will be allowed to present evidence that argues that McIntosh had access to the drug through his laboratory and could have used it during the alleged incident.

This recent delay is not the first postponement of the trial. An earlier trial date was set for March but was moved back on account of the hearing on the drug charges.

McIntosh has been on leave from the University since the allegations surfaced.

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