Pennsylvania prosecutors have asked the judge overseeing Bill Cosby’s sex-assault case to let them call as witnesses 13 women who say the entertainer attacked them, Philly.com reports. The move could transform the trial by airing sexual-misconduct allegations that span decades. Cosby’s defense signaled its intention to fight the request, which his attorneys said would represent the “trampling” of his civil rights.
The women, who were not publicly identified, were selected from a group of more than 50 who have accused the 79-year-old entertainer of sexual abuse, prosecutors said. “What became clear was that the defendant has engaged, over the course of his lifetime, in a pattern of serial sexual abuse,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said yesterday. Judge Steven O’Neill set a trial date of June 5, but said he would like it to begin earlier. He said he would hold a hearing about the potential testimony of other women, to determine “if I would even permit one or all to testify.”