Bill Cosby's lawyers look to bar alleged victims from sex assault trial

The comedian is accused of drugging and assaulting a woman in 2014

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Actor and comedian Bill Cosby, left, is assisted as he leaves after a court appearance Wednesday. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Bill Cosby's lawyers are seeking to block more than a dozen of his alleged victims from the witness stand at his trial next year.

The comedian is on trial on charges of molesting a former basketball coach at his alma mater.

More than 60 woman have come forward with allegations of sexual assault against Mr Cosby, often after drugging them or plying them with alcohol.

Only one of those claims resulted in criminal charges, filed against Cosby days before the statute of limitations was to expire. Andrea Constand, a former basketball coach at Cosby's alma mater Temple University, said he gave her pills before assaulting her at his Pennsylvania house in 2004.

Prosecutors have asked Judge Steven O'Neill of Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania to allow 13 other women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault to testify at trial in order to show he engaged in a pattern of drugging and attacking his alleged victims.

Cosby has admitted giving her a pill but accuses her of lying about the assault. O'Neill has scheduled two days of hearings on the proposed witnesses and other pre-trial matters.

Prosecutors are also seeking permission to use Cosby's sworn testimony from a deposition during Constand's 2005 civil lawsuit, in which Cosby acknowledged providing women with medication and then having consensual sexual encounters with them.

In court papers filed last week, his attorneys said Cosby is legally blind and has memory problems, preventing him from fully participating in preparing his own defense.

Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill set the trial date for June 2017, saying it could begin earlier if schedules allow.