A Pennsylvania judge ruled Friday that a second woman who’s accused Bill Cosby of sexual misconduct may testify in the comedian’s upcoming trial for allegedly sexually assaulting a former Temple University employee in 2004.
The 79-year-old is scheduled to face charges in June of aggravated indecent assault for allegedly molesting Andrea Constand after giving her pills that made her disoriented at his home in suburban Philadelphia. Cosby has denied Constand’s account and claimed their encounter was consensual.
Montgomery County prosecutors had asked Court of Common Pleas Judge Steven O’Neil to allow up to 13 women who’ve said Cosby assaulted them to take the stand. Defense lawyers had argued that all of his accusers should be blocked.
Typically, prosecutors cannot present evidence on what is known as a defendant’s “prior bad acts” to avoid jurors forming prejudiced views.
But there’s an exception when accusations may show a clear pattern of criminal behavior.
O’Neill wrote that “following a careful balancing” of Cosby’s rights and the rules on prior bad acts, he will allow testimony from a woman identified in court records as Prior Alleged Victim Six. She’s alleged Cosby assaulted her in 1996, according to The Associated Press
The other 12 accusers may not testify, O’Neill ordered.
More than 50 women have accused Cosby of raping, drugging and molesting them in incidents beginning in the 1960s. Only Constand’s account opened a criminal case, though, as the statute of limitations had expired before dozens of women in recent years made allegations of abuse and other unwanted advances from the former television star.
Cosby and his representatives have denied the allegations and sued some of the women for defamation.