Judge allows more accusers to testify in Cosby trial

Judge Steve O'Neill determined Thursday that five women will be allowed to take the witness stand and share their allegations against the scandal-plagued comedian with the jury, The Daily Beast reported.

Juror selection for Cosby's retrial is expected to start March 29.

Allowing additional accusers to testify is sure to keep Cosby in court longer than his first trial, which ended in a hung jury a year ago after six days of testimony and five days of deliberations. It was cited in a concurring opinion in a case.

It won't be just Andrea Constand on the stand next month accusing Bill Cosby of sexual assault.

Dickinson's lawyer, Lisa Bloom, says they'll keep fighting to get the case to trial no matter how many appeals are filed.

Judge Steven O'Neill made the ruling this afternoon, offering no reasoning for his decision. The Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, judge noted that he had looked at the prosecution's assertion that the previous accusers represented a "common plan, scheme and design" compared to the allegations in the Constand case, a hurdle they needed to cross to persuade him to allow testimony from the other women.

Attorneys for Cosby, who is now 80, have said the women's memories are tainted at best and asked the judge to bar them from testifying.

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

"The facts underlying each prior victim's testimony are remarkably similar to the facts underlying Ms. Constand's claims", they wrote in a brief. There is no physical evidence of the encounter between Cosby and Constand - she didn't report it until a year later - so the case came down to she-said-he-said.

Prosecutors argue Cosby used his power and appeal as a beloved entertainer to befriend younger women and then plied them with drugs or alcohol before assaulting them.


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