Апреля 24 2018

Bill Cosby to Face Five Accusers in Court

Апреля 24 2018, 06:52 | Perry Erickson

5 victims to testify in upcoming Bill Cosby trial

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

A judge ruled Thursday that five additional women can testify at Bill Cosby's upcoming trial in Pennsylvania on charges of sexually assaulting a woman in 2004, marking the first time in the #MeToo era that a celebrity will face multiple accusers in a courtroom.

The judge specified prosecutors can pick accusers from the eight women whose accusations date from the 1980s, the most recent of the 19 other accusations against Cosby.

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

Now Cosby is to be retried on Constand's accusations starting April 2 in Norristown, Pa., with jury selection to begin March 29.

Pennsylvania allows prosecutors to present evidence of alleged past misdeeds if they demonstrate the defendant engaged in a signature pattern of crime.

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Last June, O'Neil declared a mistrial in the case after the jury remained "deadlocked on all counts" following six days of deliberations. Prosecutors opened the trial by calling Johnson to the stand, using her testimony to illustrate the similarities between Cosby actions against Constand. She said she woke up to find her dress disheveled, her breasts exposed and Cosby forcing her to touch his genitals.

The importance of having other accusers for the prosecution was evident from the get-go last summer. They must let the court and Cosby's defense team know by March 19.

Another possible witness was a massage therapist who says she met Cosby at a Las Vegas health club between 1982 and 1984, according to court records.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand and Dickinson have done.

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