A judge agreed Thursday to let five additional Bill Cosby accusers testify at his April 2 sexual assault retrial, giving prosecutors a chance to portray the man once known as "America's Dad" as a serial predator who made a sadistic habit of drugging and molesting women. Judge Steven O'Neill said prosecutors could choose the witnesses from a list of eight women whose allegations date to 1982, the AP reports. Prosecutors had wanted to have as many as 19 women testify about alleged assaults over a five-decade span. Among the women who could take the witness stand: model Janice Dickinson, who suspects Cosby drugged and raped her while she was unconscious during a 1982 trip to Lake Tahoe. "We are reviewing the Judge's order and will be making some determinations," District Attorney Kevin Steele said.
Cosby's lawyers went to court last week to block any additional accusers from testifying, contending they were only needed because prosecutors were desperate to bolster an otherwise weak case. They argued that jurors should only hear testimony about the alleged 2004 assault that led to the criminal charges against Cosby, not "ancient allegations" that would confuse, distract, and prejudice the jury against the 80-year-old comedian. Cosby has pleaded not guilty to charges he drugged and molested former Temple University women's basketball official Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He remains free on bail. Also Thursday, Dickinson's defamation lawsuit against Cosby was allowed to move forward after the California Supreme Court refused his appeal. Dickinson sued Cosby after he and his representatives said her allegations were false.
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