Dec 13 Bill Cosby returns to a Pennsylvania
courtroom on Tuesday, where his lawyers are expected to renew
their battle with prosecutors over whether more than a dozen
female accusers can testify at his criminal sexual trial next
The outcome of the argument is crucial for Cosby, 79. If
prosecutors are successful, the entertainer would face a parade
of witnesses portraying him as a serial predator, rather than a
single woman testifying about a decade-old encounter fueled by
drugs and alcohol.
Cosby's reputation as a family-friendly comedian has been
shredded by sexual assault accusations from around 50 women
going back decades. Thus far, the Pennsylvania case is the only
criminal prosecution he faces, though he is fighting multiple
Judge Steven O'Neill of the Court of Common Pleas in
Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, has scheduled two full days to
hear arguments on various pretrial matters.
Andrea Constand, a former basketball coach at Cosby's alma
mater Temple University, has accused him of drugging her with
pills and wine in 2004 at his home before sexually assaulting
Prosecutors have chosen 13 other women whose accounts bear
striking similarities to Constand's story, describing Cosby's
efforts to establish a rapport first before using drugs to
Typically, prosecutors cannot introduce evidence of
unrelated "prior bad acts," because it could prejudice jurors
against a defendant. But state law allows an exception in rare
cases if the previous instances show a longstanding pattern of
Cosby's lawyers have argued that it is unfair to allow
testimony about encounters that occurred years or decades ago
and remain unproven.
Last week, O'Neill ruled that prosecutors can use at trial
potentially damaging testimony that Cosby gave about his sexual
history in 2005 during Constand's civil case.
Cosby acknowledged giving women Quaaludes as a precursor to
engaging in what he described as consensual sexual acts.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Sandra Maler; Editing by