The Latest: Prosecutors ask to put Cosby accusers on stand

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Posted: Dec 13, 2016 4:24 PM
The Latest: Prosecutors ask to put Cosby accusers on stand

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on Bill Cosby's latest court appearance in a sexual-assault case (all times local):

4:25 p.m.

Prosecutors in Bill Cosby's sexual assault case say the 79-year-old comedian used his fame to gain the trust of women before knocking them out with pills and drinks so he could sexually assault them.

District Attorney Kevin Steele told a judge Tuesday he wants 13 Cosby accusers to testify at his trial next year to show that an alleged sexual assault in 2004 was part of a decadeslong pattern.

Judge Steven O'Neill is weighing whether to permit all or some of the women to testify under a state law that allows prosecutors to call witnesses of alleged prior bad acts.

Cosby's lawyers want the women barred from taking the stand. They're expected to make their arguments Wednesday.

Cosby is charged with sexually assaulting a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home.

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3 p.m.

A Pennsylvania judge has warned lawyers in Bill Cosby's sexual assault case for a second time after a prosecutor assailed the 79-year-old comedian's lawyers with allegations of witness intimidation.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele blew up at the defense over the positioning of a projection screen at a hearing Tuesday where prosecutors are seeking permission to have 13 Cosby accusers testify at his upcoming trial.

Steele says Cosby's lawyers had the screen placed so the women's names would be seen by dozens of reporters in the courtroom gallery. Cosby lawyer Brian McMonagle says courtroom staff positioned the screen.

Judge Steven O'Neill said he'd be forced to call in sheriff's deputies if the lawyers couldn't conduct themselves properly.

Cosby is charged with sexually assaulting a woman at his home in 2004.

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2:25 p.m.

Defense lawyers for Bill Cosby are complaining that celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred fed Pennsylvania prosecutors a list of accusers to use as witnesses at Cosby's sex assault trial.

The 79-year-old Cosby appeared relaxed in court Tuesday as he listened to pretrial arguments about how many other accusers can testify as "prior bad act" witnesses at his spring trial. Cosby is facing charges he sexually assaulted a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

Prosecutors hope to call 13 of the approximately 50 Cosby accusers they interviewed to show an alleged pattern of criminal activity.

The defense believes the judge should consider how prosecutors selected those women.

The case is being heard in Montgomery County, near Philadelphia. The hearing is scheduled to run through Wednesday.

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12:05 p.m.

The Pennsylvania judge in Bill Cosby's sexual assault case doesn't want to hear from a memory expert at this week's hearing on the potential testimony of other accusers.

Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill says the memory expert won't help him decide if the accusers can testify against the 79-year-old comedian. He says the expert might be allowed to take the stand at Cosby's trial next year.

The criminal charges involve Cosby's 2004 encounter with Andrea Constant at his home near Philadelphia.

Prosecutors want to call 13 other women as "prior bad act" witnesses. The women say Cosby drugged and molested them.

Defense lawyers are introducing thick binders full of news interviews, police statements, Facebook posts and other information on the women. They call the accusers' accounts irrelevant to the case.

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11 a.m.

A judge has admonished both the prosecution and defense after a courtroom shouting match over the names of the women accusing Bill Cosby of sexual assault.

Judge Steven O'Neill denounced Tuesday morning's outburst as uncivil.

District Attorney Kevin Steele clashed with Cosby lawyer Brian McMonagle over the defense team's practice of publicly identifying accusers.

Steele suggested that Cosby's lawyers are publicizing them in an attempt to intimidate the women.

McMonagle said many of them had already gone public with their allegations.

Cosby's lawyers want the women barred from testifying at the 79-year-old comedian's Pennsylvania sexual assault trial next year.

O'Neill ruled that Cosby's lawyers can identify 11 of the women by name. He said two have remained out of the spotlight and shouldn't be named in court.

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9:15 a.m.

Bill Cosby joked, 'Don't tase me, bro,'" as he was being wanded by security officers on his way into a suburban Philadelphia courtroom.

The actor and comedian entered the courthouse Tuesday morning for a hearing on whether prosecutors will be able to call more than a dozen accusers as witnesses at his upcoming sexual assault trial.

Lawyers for Cosby are trying to limit the number of other accusers who can testify at a trial involving accusations by Andrea Constand. Prosecutors want to show Cosby had a pattern of drugging and molesting women.

The defense will attack their credibility and relevance to his 2004 encounter with Constand.

The hearing is expected to run through Wednesday.

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12:35 a.m.

Lawyers for Bill Cosby will battle in court starting Tuesday to try to limit the number of other accusers who can testify at the comedian's sexual assault trial.

Prosecutors near Philadelphia hope to call 13 other women to show Cosby had a pattern of drugging and molesting women.

The defense will attack their credibility and relevance to his 2004 encounter with accuser Andrea Constand.

The case started a decade ago when the Temple University employee filed a police complaint. A suburban Philadelphia prosecutor declined to file charges.

But scores of women have since gone public with similar accusations. And damaging testimony Cosby gave in the first accuser's civil lawsuit became public last year. That led authorities to reopen the case.

The hearing is expected to run Tuesday through Wednesday.