Cosby to face sentencing, but not large group of accusers

A Pennsylvania judge vetoed a request to line the courtroom with dozens of sexual assault accusers during Bill Cosby’s sentencing hearing next week, NBC News reports.

As the disgraced TV star faces sentencing September 24 after being convicted of sexual assault against a former Temple University employee, he won’t have to stand before a sea of accusers after all.

Cosby, 81, will be sentenced by Judge Steven O’Neill who rejected a request by the prosecution to include dozens of women who accused Cosby of sexual harassment.

Cosby’s lawyers opposed the request for additional accusers to testify, calling it a “publicity stunt, not supported by ANY existing Pennsylvania law.” Judge O’Neill agreed and wrote that that in an “exhaustive review” of state case law there was no need to consider “uncharged conduct” at the sentencing.

However, the five women who were allowed to testify at Cosby’s trial in April when he was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand and those women could possibly be called back in.

Constand has maintained that Cosby raped her. Prosecutors brought in five women to testify who have brought claims against Cosby similar to Constand’s. Some 60 women have accused Cosby of similar assaults.

Montgomery County, Pa., District Attorney Kevin Steele, was ordered by the judge to inform him of his intentions about the issue by Friday.

In April, the jury in Cosby’s sexual assault retrial found the comedian guilty of all charges after a two-day deliberation. Each of the three counts of aggravated indecent assault comes with a 5-10-year possible sentence and a $25,000 fine.

During the trial, prosecutors presented a slew of witnesses to convince the jury that the 81-year old Cosby had been a serial predator who has sexually assaulted dozens of women over the years. The comedian acknowledges sexual contact took place, but says their interaction was consensual.