Judge allows more accusers to testify in Cosby trial


Bill Cosby arrives with publicist Andrew Wyatt for a pretrial hearing on March 6, 2018. Cosby's defence team vigorously argued that was not enough of a legal precedent.

Last June, O'Neil declared a mistrial in the case after the jury remained "deadlocked on all counts" following six days of deliberations.

O'Neill's two-page ruling provided scant information about his reasoning.

The judge allowed only one to take the stand.

At the first trial, Steele had asked the judge to allow a total of 13 other accusers to testify, but O'Neill ruled on February 24, 2017, that 12 of the women could not testify, opening the door to only Johnson's testimony.

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Defense lawyers suggested the prosecution's case "is so weak" that prosecutors are desperate to salvage it with the testimony of other women who accuse Cosby of misconduct.

Prosecutors will be selecting from a slate of witnesses whose allegations stretch from the 1960s to the early 1990s.

Dennis McAndrews, a former Pennsylvania prosecutor who attended the first trial, called the order "a potential game changer".

Johnson also is included in the list of other accusers that prosecutors can call to testify at the upcoming retrial.

The decision means that five more accusers, who have said Mr. Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them, will be able to tell their accounts alongside the woman whose allegations are at the center of the case, Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee who says Mr. Cosby drugged and molested her at his home near Philadelphia in 2004. The woman, according to the prosecution court filing, says she felt "woozy" and "fuzzy", then lost consciousness only to awake to discover evidence of intercourse.

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"(He) could not have been mistaken Ms. Constand was unconscious and unable to consent", Jappe said, "because he'd done it for so long".

"Now it becomes more than just one accuser against Bill Cosby", he said.

At least 60 women have publicly accused Cosby of sexual harassment, sexual assault or rape.

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.

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