There will be 5 new accusers to face off against Bill Cosby at his criminal trial on sexual assault charges in April, according to a ruling Thursday.
The New York Times reports that five additional accusers who have said Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them will give testimony. They join Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee whose allegations that Cosby drugged and molested her at his home in 2004 have served as the basis for the case.
The Times reports: The decision adds considerable pressure on Mr. Cosby, 80. At his first trial, last summer, which ended in a hung jury, Mr. Cosby faced only one additional accuser.
Now, prosecutors hope that five other accounts will help them convince jurors that the alleged assault on Ms. Constand, which Mr. Cosby denies, was part of a pattern of sexual misconduct that stretched over four decades.
According to the report, 19 accusers that wanted to take part in the trial, but Judge Steven T. O’Neill of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas only allowed five of those to participate and did not divulge his reasoning for choosing only five.
He reportedly told prosecutors to call any five of the women from the most recent eight cases they had cited from a period between 1982 and 1996.