5 more accusers will testify against Cosby

Judge agrees to let 5 more accusers testify at Bill Cosby's retrial

Only one was permitted to testify in addition to Andrea Constand, the central accuser in the case, at Cosby's trial in June. Prosecutors opened the trial by calling Johnson to the stand, using her testimony to illustrate the similarities between Cosby actions against Constand.

Cosby's lawyers fought the move.

The ruling Thursday by Judge Steven O'Neill in Montgomery County, Pa., was a victory for District Attorney Kevin Steele, the man who has been pursuing TV icon Cosby for more than two years.

Constand, a former administrator of the women's basketball team at Temple University in Philadelphia, Cosby's alma mater, is one of more than 50 women who have accused him of sexual assaults, some dating back decades. It was not yet announced which women will be testifying.

"That is a very bad blow for the Cosby defense team", Shan Wu, a former sex-crimes prosecutor in Washington, told the New York Times. They argued prosecutors were looking to bolster a weak case with "ancient allegations" that would confuse and distract jurors in the #metoo era.

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

Jury selection for the retrial is set to begin March 29. However, numerous other potential witnesses are easily identifiable because they have made public statements about their allegations that precisely match the circumstances laid out by prosecutors in their requests to allow testimony from previous accusers.

The court said on its website Thursday that it was declining to review Cosby's appeal, which had put the case on hold.

Among the women who could take the witness stand: model Janice Dickinson, who suspects Cosby drugged and raped her while she was unconscious during a 1982 trip to Lake Tahoe. The woman says she became "immobilized" after taking a blue pill Cosby gave her, and awoke with "a sharp pain in her buttocks".

Actor and comedian Bill Cosby departs after a judge declared a mistrial in his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, June 17, 2017. "Now you have a pattern of multiple women".

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