Judge in Cosby Case to Allow Five More Accusers to Testify

16 March, 2018, 05:04 | Author: Conrad Doyle
  • Bill Cosby sought to block Janice Dickinson from using both a press release from Cosby's camp and a letter his reps sent to media outlets in her case

During Cosby's first trial last June on charges he sexually assaulted Constand, O'Neill allowed prosecutors to present the testimony of only one "prior alleged victim", Kelley Johnson.

In a written ruling, the judge said prosecutors can select five witnesses from a group of eight. Cosby's lawyers said that in the current climate, it would be too inflammatory to have even one woman from the past take the stand.

"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.

Earlier this month, legal experts told ABC News that the decision on whether additional accusers were allowed to testify could have a significant impact on whether Cosby is convicted or acquitted of the three felony charges he is facing.

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Cosby's attorneys had appealed Dickinson's use of a press release and a letter to media outlets as evidence, saying that would violate First Amendment rights.

The upcoming court dates will serve as a retrial for Cosby regarding Andrea Constand's accusation that the former "Cosby Show" star, 80, drugged and molested her in 2004. He remains free on bail.

Mesereau said prospective jurors should expect a monthlong trial.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin on March 29. They argued prosecutors were looking to bolster a weak case with "ancient allegations" that would confuse and distract jurors in the Me Too era.

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The retrial is now scheduled to begin April 2, but Cosby's lawyers have said they would seek to delay proceedings if the judge allowed other accusers the chance to testify.

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.

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

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". Judge O'Neill has already ruled against Cosby on a number of his pre-trial motions to dismiss the case. "Now you have a pattern of multiple women". They were all invited by Cosby to a setting he controlled where he allegedly drugged them and had sexual contact with them without their consent.

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