Cosby judge will allow five additional accusers to testify against the comedian

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Five additional women who accuse Bill Cosby of sexual misconduct can testify for prosecutors at the actor's upcoming retrial on charges he sexually assaulted one woman at his Cheltenham mansion in 2004, a judge has ruled.

In a written ruling, the judge said prosecutors can select five witnesses from a group of eight.

Prosecutors contend the alleged 2004 assault that led to Cosby's only criminal charges was the latest in a five-decade pattern of him drugging and attacking dozens of women.

Earlier this month, the prosecution filed a motion to present 19 of Cosby's accusers as prior bad acts, which the prosecution will use to establish a pattern of Cosby's alleged behavior.

"We are reviewing the Judge's order and will be making some determinations", prosecutors said in a statement. Bloom said Dickinson "has waited decades for this opportunity". He remains free on bail.

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Steele and co-prosecutors Adrienne Jappe, M. Stewart Ryan and Kristen Feden argued during a pretrial hearing last week that the testimony of the other accusers is "strikingly similar" to Constand's claims and should be admissible as evidence against Cosby. It says the accusers were much younger and they all had a mentorship type of relationship with Cosby.

Allowing additional accusers to testify is sure to keep Cosby in court longer than his first trial, which ended in a hung jury a year ago after six days of testimony and five days of deliberations. Jury selection begins March 29. However, numerous other potential witnesses are easily identifiable because they have made public statements about their allegations that precisely match the circumstances laid out by prosecutors in their requests to allow testimony from previous accusers. In Cosby's first trial a year ago, just one accuser, Kelley Johnson, was allowed to testify.

Kelly Johnson, who worked for Cosby's agent, testified Cosby knocked her out with a pill during a 1996 meeting at the Bel-Air Hotel in Los Angeles.

The only other hints jurors got of Cosby's past came from deposition excerpts from 2005 and 2006 in which he admitted getting quaaludes to give to women he wanted to have sex with.