Other Accusers Can Testify at Bill Cosby's Retrial

Bill Cosby left a pretrial hearing in his sexual-assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown Pa. earlier this month

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.

Prosecutors, eager to expand the scope of the underlying he-said-she-said case, had pushed to let jurors hear from as many as 19 of the dozens of women who say Cosby assaulted them over a five-decade span.

The women include model Janice Dickinson.

James also brought up the "MeToo" movement, suggesting increased awareness of sexual harassment and assault since the first trial would unfairly harm Cosby if multiple accusers were allowed to testify.

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Prosecutors had asked to call 19 additional women to testify against the entertainer about experiences similar to Constand's.

Juror selection for Cosby's retrial is expected to start March 29. But prosecutors have focused on women whose allegations follow a pattern of mentorship, followed by drugging and sexual assault. A judge ruled on March 15 to allow five of Cosby's other accusers to testify at his upcoming retrial on April 2. The first trial against Cosby ended in a hung jury in June of past year.

"It just shows how desperate they are and that this is a very weak case", Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said after O'Neill's ruling.

Kelly Johnson, who worked for Cosby's agent, testified Cosby knocked her out with a pill during a 1996 meeting at the Bel-Air Hotel in Los Angeles.

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None of these other accusations resulted in criminal charges against Cosby, mostly because they're so old they fell outside the statutes of limitation. Judge O'Neill has already ruled against Cosby on a number of his pre-trial motions to dismiss the case.

The importance of having other accusers for the prosecution was evident from the get-go last summer.

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 retrial, on charges of aggravated indecent assault, is scheduled to begin April 2.

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