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Prosecutors hope to show Cosby had a pattern of sex abuse

Associated Press Associated Press 7/09/2016 By MARYCLAIRE DALE and MICHAEL R. SISAK, Associated Press

Bill Cosby arrives for a pretrial hearing in his sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Bill Cosby arrives for a pretrial hearing in his sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
© The Associated Press

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — They were models and aspiring actresses. One was a flight attendant. Another was a masseuse.

Thirteen women who say Bill Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them over the years have agreed to testify against him in the only criminal case stemming from the allegations.

Prosecutors say the women's experiences show that Cosby is a serial offender and that the one case he's charged in — an alleged assault at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004 — is part of a pattern of abuse dating to the 1960s.

One starlet said she lost consciousness after Cosby poured her a few glasses of Champagne and woke up naked and sore. Another said she felt woozy and had blurred vision after he insisted she take a couple of pills.

A judge hasn't said if he'll allow the women to take the stand.

If he does, their testimony could widen the scope of the 79-year-old Cosby's trial, slated for June, into a close examination of his treatment of women over the last six decades — from his time as a fledgling comedian to his worldwide fame as a TV sitcom star dubbed "America's Dad."

Cosby's criminal case involves a single encounter with former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, who told police he gave her three unmarked pills and then molested her as she drifted in and out of consciousness.

Prosecutors said they reviewed accusations made by 50 women and found 13 who said they were also drugged or intoxicated by Cosby before he molested them. Many of those women came forward last year as Pennsylvania authorities were deciding whether to reopen the Constand case.

One of the prospective witnesses, then an aspiring actress, said Cosby assaulted her at a home near Reno, Nevada, in 1984 after telling her agent and her parents that he wanted to mentor her.

The woman said Cosby told her he wanted to see her act and handed her a script for an intoxicated character and an alcoholic beverage he wanted her to "sip on." The woman says she soon lost consciousness and awoke naked as Cosby forced his penis into her mouth.

Another woman said Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in the late 1960s after befriending her and acting as a mentor to her 9-year-old son. The woman, a restaurant worker in the San Francisco area, said she lost consciousness after Cosby poured her a glass of wine and gave her a headache pill. She said she woke up wearing only her underwear.

Cosby's lawyers say they'll oppose any testimony from other accusers.

They suggest he's a wealthy target for the many women he's met during decades as an A-list celebrity.

Defense lawyer Angela Agrusa told reporters Tuesday that the accusers have been "paraded" before the media by lawyer Gloria Allred and others without their accounts of abuse being investigated.

"We have seen a barrage of new accusers claiming, 'Me, too,'" Agrusa said.

Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt brought race into the equation, saying Allred and others have trampled on Cosby's civil rights.

Many of the accusers, including Constand, are white.

Allred rejected Wyatt's accusations, saying that Cosby is becoming desperate and that several accusers she represents are black like he is.

Allred also represents Judy Huth, who filed a lawsuit accusing Cosby of underage sexual abuse.

She said the case is not about racial bias but rather about whether Cosby "has committed acts of gender sexual violence."

It's unclear if any of Allred's clients are among the 13 women prosecutors are seeking to call as witnesses against Cosby.

Also Tuesday, Cosby's lawyers asked a judge to block prosecutors from using a 2005 telephone conversation at trial, saying Constand's mother recorded it without his permission.

Cosby was in California when he called Constand's mother at her Canadian home, but his lawyers argued Pennsylvania's two-party consent law on recording — not a more lax Canadian law — should apply since he's being prosecuted there.

In the conversation, Cosby described the sex act with Constand as "digital penetration" but refused to say what pills he had given her daughter. In his deposition, he later said he feared sounding like "a dirty old man" on the call.

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AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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Reach Maryclaire Dale and Mike Sisak on Twitter @maryclairedale and @mikesisak

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