Comedian Bill Cosby has faced a handful of accusations of sexual assault in the past, which allegedly includes the drugging of several women for the purposes of non-consensual sex. Cosby has been embroiled in legal battles to fight against the accusations. Now, prosecutors are calling for an additional 19 women to offer testimony on the matter.
According to Jezebel, District Attorney Kevin Steele is calling on more than a dozen women to testify about Cosby's use of drugs and sexual assault at Cosby's retrial. The request was reportedly filed yesterday in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
During Cosby's first trial, which ended in a mistrial, only one woman was allowed to offer testimony on the subject of Cosby's use of drugs and subsequent attacks on women. Steele had originally requested testimony from 13 women and was denied, reported The New York Times.
Gloria Allred, the attorney representing some of the women coming forward against Cosby, had expressed her hopes that more women would be allowed to speak at the retrial.
"The prosecution wanted to call what we call 13 'prior bad act witnesses' -- in other words, other accusers," she said. "Under Pennsylvania law, the court could have allowed more accusers to testify but declined to do so. [...] Now that there's going to be a new trial, I'm hoping that the court will allow more prior bad act witnesses, more accusers, to be able to testify so that the jury can take into consideration what their allegations are as well."
In his motion, Steele claims that police have “investigated more than 50 other claims of defendant’s virtually identical drug-facilitated sexual assaults on young women." He argues that evidence from the women show “a common scheme, plan, or design” as well as “an absence of mistake or malice.” Steele's 100-page memorandum makes this point repeatedly.
The Cosby family has previously blamed racism for many of the accusations.
"I strongly believe my father is innocent of the crimes alleged against him, and I believe that racism has played a big role in all aspects of this scandal," said Ensa Cosby, Bill's daughter.
You can read the full memorandum over here.
[Photo: Getty Images]