PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Prosecutors in Bill Cosbyâ€™s retrial want to call as many as 19 other women to the witness stand to show he had a five-decade pattern of drugging and harming women.
Cosby is due in court for a pretrial hearing Monday, less than two weeks after his daughterâ€™s death, as his lawyers clash with prosecutors over how many of his accusers are allowed to testify at his April 2 sexual assault trial.
Judge Steven Oâ€™Neill allowed just one other accuser to take the witness stand at Cosbyâ€™s first trial, which ended in a hung jury last year. Prosecutors had proposed calling as many as 13. They added six more to the list for the retrial, including model Janice Dickinson.
Cosbyâ€™s lawyers have said they would seek to delay the retrial if other accusers are given a chance to testify. They said they would need extra time to look into the allegations.
Jury selection is slated to begin March 29.
Cosbyâ€™s lawyers wrote in a court filing that some of the other accusersâ€™ allegations date to the 1960s and are â€śvirtually impossible to defend against.â€ť
â€śDeveloping a defense to any of these outdated claims will require unusual amounts of investigative effort that cannot be completed by the present trial date,â€ť the lawyers wrote.
Cosbyâ€™s 44-year-old daughter, Ensa, died of kidney disease Feb. 23. His lawyers have given no indication they would seek to delay Mondayâ€™s hearing.
In January, the 80-year-old entertainer was suddenly out and about in his hometown of Philadelphia in what legal experts said was an effort to rebuild his good-guy image. Over a two-week span, Cosby emerged from a long period of near-seclusion to have dinner with friends at a restaurant and to give his first comedy performance in more than two years.
Prosecutors are counting on other accusers testifying to show there was a sinister side to Cosbyâ€™s public persona as â€śAmericaâ€™s Dad,â€ť cultivated through his role as an affable Jell-O pitchman and family sitcom star.
Cosby has pleaded not guilty to charges he drugged and molested former Temple University womenâ€™s basketball official Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home. He remains free on bail.