Judge in Cosby Case to Allow Five More Accusers to Testify
16 March, 2018, 05:00 | Author: Ann Santiago
Five additional women who accuse Bill Cosby of sexual misconduct can testify for prosecutors at the actor's upcoming retrial on charges he sexually assaulted one woman at his Cheltenham mansion in 2004, a judge has ruled.
Earlier this month, the prosecution filed a motion to present 19 of Cosby's accusers as prior bad acts, which the prosecution will use to establish a pattern of Cosby's alleged behavior. They wanted to call as many as 19 women to the stand.
She has alleged that Cosby, 80, drugged and sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious at his home in 2004.
The initial trial took place last June, but ended in a mistrial when the jurors failed to settle on a verdict.
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The decision represents a dramatic shift with the potential to completely reshape the case, which is set to begin with jury selection on March 29 and testimony on April 2. But prosecutors have focused on women whose allegations follow a pattern of mentorship, followed by drugging and sexual assault. Johnson testified she met Cosby around 1990 through her employment working as an assistant to Cosby's personal appearance agent at the William Morris Agency. She said she woke up to find her dress disheveled, her breasts exposed and Cosby forcing her to touch his genitals. O'Neill is allowing the prosecution to choose who will testify.
Dave Zuckerman, a former prosecutor who practices criminal defense in the Pittsburgh area, said that "might help put the case over the edge in favor of the prosecution". Johnson offered tearful testimony at Cosby's first trial, saying that the comedian intimidated her into taking a pill that made her vision go fuzzy at the swanky Bel-Air Hotel in the 1990s.
Legal insiders believe the key to the prosecution's case against Cosby is the admissibility of evidence involving accusers who came forward after Constand's allegations came to light.
Cosby's attorneys spent almost two hours questioning the credibility of the accusers and why they waited so long to come forward, noting their testimony wouldn't fit into a common scheme because of their claims surfacing after Constand's.
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