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Five Bill Cosby accusers will be allowed to testify in his retrial


His retrial is scheduled to begin on March 29, and opening arguments are slated for April 2.

During Cosby's first trial last June, which ended in a mistrial after two weeks of testimony and deliberations, O'Neill permitted only one other alleged accuser to testify. They had asked for 13.

Allowing additional accusers to testify is sure to keep Cosby in court longer than his first trial, which ended in a hung jury past year after six days of testimony and five days of deliberations. It was cited in a concurring opinion in a case. Prosecutors must notify the court and defense lawyers by Monday which five women will testify.

The 80-year-old comedian is facing three counts of felony indecent sexual assault after a former Temple University employee accused him of drugging and raping her in his Philadelphia home in 2004.

Judge Steven O'Neill made the ruling this afternoon, offering no reasoning for his decision.

"It just shows how desperate they are and that this is a very weak case", Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said after O'Neill's ruling.

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Johnson also is included in the list of other accusers that prosecutors can call to testify at the upcoming retrial. Only one of the witnesses has been identified publicly - Kelley Johnson, a former assistant to Cosby's personal appearances agent.

His defense attorney Becky James questioned the credibility of the 19 women and warned O'Neill that the defense may need more time to prepare its case if all 19 women were allowed to testify in April. It will reportedly be up to prosecutors to choose which accusers testify.

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

Another possible witness is described a successful model who Cosby flew to Lake Tahoe in 1982, ostensibly to offer career guidance.

"(He) could not have been mistaken Ms. Constand was unconscious and unable to consent", Jappe said, "because he'd done it for so long". Cosby has maintained his contact with Constand was consensual. The woman told prosecutors that Cosby insisted that she take a drink at a hotel restaurant.

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