May 22, 2018 / 9:43 AM

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Prosecutors Seek 19 More Women To Take The Stand At Bill Cosby Retrial

 

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The prosecution in the Bill Cosby case is seeking to get 19 other alleged sexual assault victims of the comedian to give their testimony.

The request underlines the government's efforts to represent the 80-year-old entertainer as a serial predator. The retrial is set to convene on April 2.

"[Cosby] has spent a lifetime entertaining audiences in front of the camera," the prosecutors states in the request. "Off camera, he has followed and, indeed mastered, a more nefarious script — a victimizing sexual script. . . . To satiate his desire, he has engaged, over the course of a lifetime, in a pattern of serial sexual abuse."

Cosby is alleged to have drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand in his home in 2004. He denies all the allegations, maintaining that his encounter with her was consensual. He also filed defamation cases against his accusers. In early 2016, the actor won a defamation lawsuit against one of his alleged victims Renita Hill.

Courts Cautious With Alleged Prior Victims On The Stand

The prosecutors have previously attempted to get 13 prior victims on the stand for Cosby's trial last June. The defense also vehemently opposed it, saying it can prejudice the jury. In the end, the judge only allowed one to give a testimony and the result was a hung jury.

It's not surprising to encounter on court as judges are often reluctant to allow alleged prior victims to offer their testimony in a case. However, there have been cases in Philadelphia where the courts have permitted it if it's used to establish a clear behavioral pattern. In this case, the prosecutors argue that the witnesses are important to signify the serial nature of Cosby's alleged crime.

"This evidence is relevant to establish that an individual who, over the course of decades, intentionally intoxicated women in a signature fashion and then sexually assaulted them while they were incapacitated, could not have been mistaken about whether or not Ms. Constand was conscious enough to consent to the sexual contact," Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele says in the motion.

Multiple women have gone on to accuse Cosby of inappropriate behavior over the years. Constand's case is the only one that made it to criminal court.

Witnesses Tapped To Give Their Testimony

One of the alleged victims on the prosecution request is Kelly Johnson, who is assistant to Cosby's personal appearances agent. Johnson already delivered a testimony that left her in tears as she spoke of being given pills and getting sexually assaulted by the entertainer.

None of the other alleged victims are named, but six additional potential witnesses have been submitted along with the original 13.

Cosby's representatives have declined to comment.

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