Arts&Culture

5 victims to testify in upcoming Bill Cosby trial

5 victims to testify in upcoming Bill Cosby trial

Judge Steven O'Neill said prosecutors could choose the witnesses from a list of eight women with allegations dating as far back as the early 1980s. Jury selection begins March 29 in the same court. Cosby's defence team vigorously argued that was not enough of a legal precedent.

William Henry Cosby Jr., as his name appears on charging documents, faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault in connection with allegations he had inappropriate sexual contact with Constand.

O'Neill's two-page ruling provided scant information about his reasoning. When they were unsuccessful, they opposed the prosecution's request to call additional accusers to the stand citing the statute of limitations.

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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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". Johnson testified she met Cosby around 1990 through her employment working as an assistant to Cosby's personal appearance agent at the William Morris Agency.

The prosecution must identify the witnesses it intends to call by Monday. Johnson offered tearful testimony at Cosby's first trial, saying that the comedian intimidated her into taking a pill that made her vision go fuzzy at the swanky Bel-Air Hotel in the 1990s.

The accusers were not named in court documents, but the descriptions of their accounts match those of several women who have come forward publicly, including model and television personality Janice Dickinson. Cosby has maintained his contact with Constand was consensual.

"Now it becomes more than just one accuser against Bill Cosby", he said. The woman told prosecutors that Cosby insisted that she take a drink at a hotel restaurant. When they got to Cosby's dressing room, the woman said, Cosby started raping her, and there was nothing she could do, but lie there "like a rag doll".