Bill Cosby To Face Multiple Accusers In Upcoming Sexual Assault Trial



During arguments in a pre-trial motion March 5, the judge asked the prosecution if 19 past accusers would be unfairly prejudicial.

O'Neill will allow five of Bill Cosby's additional accusers to testify at Cosby's upcoming sexual assault retrial, which is expected to start April 2, the Inquirer reported.

In a written ruling, the judge said prosecutors can select five witnesses from a group of eight.

The prosecution wanted to put 19 past accusers on the stand to show an alleged pattern that led up to the incident involving Constand.

"We're reviewing the Judge's order and will be making some determinations", said Kate Delano, spokeswoman for the district attorney, in an email to USA TODAY. Bloom said Dickinson "has waited decades for this opportunity".

Cosby's lawyers argued prosecutors are trying to bolster an otherwise weak case with "ancient allegations" that would confuse, distract and prejudice the jury against the 80-year-old comedian. They said they would need extra time to look into the allegations. He remains free on bail.

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The initial trial took place last June, but ended in a mistrial when the jurors failed to settle on a verdict.

He said the the defense could appeal the ruling, but noted "the appellate courts rarely entertain such pretrial appeals".

Pennsylvania allows prosecutors to present evidence of alleged past misdeeds if they demonstrate the defendant engaged in a signature pattern of crime. The jury deliberated for five days but failed to reach a unanimous verdict on three charges of aggravated sexual assault.

O'Neill limited prosecutors at Cosby's first trial previous year to calling just the 2004 accuser and a woman who alleged a 1990s assault.

Only Constand and one other accuser, Kelly Johnson, were permitted to testify against Cosby.

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