Bill Cosby to Face Five Accusers in Court

Tonya Becker
March 16, 2018

O'Neill ruled Thursday that prosecutors "shall be permitted to present evidence...regarding five prior bad acts of its choosing" from a list of eight other accusers who alleged sexual misconduct by Cosby between the years 1982 and 1996. Assistant district attorney Adrienne Jappe said the more often Cosby allegedly engaged in aggressive sexual behavior with other women, the more likely he would have done the same with Constand.

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.

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.

Cosby's lawyers argued prosecutors are trying to bolster an otherwise weak case with "ancient allegations" that would confuse, distract and prejudice the jury against the 80-year-old comedian.

An alleged assault in 2004 led to Cosby's only criminal charges.

At his first trial, which ended in a deadlock, prosecutors had tried to call 13 other accusers to testify.

Mesereau said in court March 6 that jurors would learn "just how greedy" Constand was when they hear details about how much money she demanded from Cosby and what the star wound up paying her.

"This time around, the prosecution aimed to get 19 accusers to testify, saying that "[the] facts underlying each prior victim's testimony are remarkably similar to the facts underlying Ms Constand's claims". His retrial is scheduled to begin on March 29, and opening arguments are slated for April 2.

Courts are often reluctant to allow such testimony because of the potential to unduly influence jurors who will be asked to focus on the specifics of the case at hand - in this instance, Constand's assertion that Cosby gave her pills that rendered her incapable of consenting to his sexual advances.

The prosecution must identify the witnesses it intends to call by Monday. Constand has testified that Cosby took a special interest in assisting her career.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article