Bill Cosby trial

Judge will decide if testimony from 13 other accusers can be used against Bill Cosby

Judge Steven T. O’Neill gave no timeline for when he’ll issue a ruling.

Bill Cosby walks into the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania for day two of the pretrial hearing in his sexual assault case on Wednesday, December 14, 2016.

Bill Cosby walks into the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania for day two of the pretrial hearing in his sexual assault case on Wednesday, December 14, 2016.

Chloe Elmer/Photojournalist
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NORRISTOWN — A Montgomery County judge is now considering one of the final pre-trial issues before Bill Cosby could face trial: Whether or not more than a dozen women should be allowed to testify about alleged sexual assaults committed by Cosby.

Prosecutors in Norristown and Cosby’s defense team wrapped up arguments today about whether or not prosecutors should be allowed to present evidence of other alleged acts of sexual assault. Cosby faces charges of aggravated indecent assault in connection with a 2004 incident involving former Temple University employee Andrea Constand.

Judge Steven T. O’Neill did not rule on the matter today and didn’t give a timeline for when he would issue a ruling. He did say with regard to how long he may take to rule that “full and exhaustive research takes time.” Cosby’s trial is scheduled for June, however the judge has indicated that it could take place even sooner.

In Pennsylvania, prosecutors must show that the “prior bad acts” — or other women who could be called to testify — demonstrate either a signature crime or the “absence of mistake,” meaning the defendant knew what they were doing in each case.

Cosby’s attorneys spent much of the afternoon presenting statements made by the 13 alleged victims that prosecutors want to testify and they also spent a significant portion of time poking at celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, who represents a number of the accusers who could testify.

“It is our position that the district attorney’s office did not conduct an independent investigation,” Cosby’s attorney Angela Agrusa said. “They took the stories that Ms. Allred carefully crafted.”

Meanwhile, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele excoriated the defense for questioning the credibility of the accusers, saying their credibility isn’t an issue in this pre-trial hearing, but rather something to be determined by a jury.

“This is ‘hey, let’s trash these victims. Let’s say all of these different things and put it on a PowerPoint,’” Steele said, “in an attempt to, I suggest, take your eye off of the ball of what the determination is that you are to make here.”

Both sides have 10 days to file additional paperwork as it relates to the issue of allowing in the testimony of other women.

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