A funeral director is facing allegations of sexual abuse of boys spanning four decades.
Gerald Martin originally faced charges of sexual assault of two boys in the 1960s and 1970s.
Teesside Crown Court heard four new victims have come forward who claim Martin sexually assaulted them in the 1980s and 1990s.
No pleas were taken from Martin, 66, of Mason and Gerald Martin Funeral Directors in Park Road, Hartlepool.
His legal team indicated to the court all allegations are denied.
Judge Simon Bourne-Arton ordered a plea hearing to take place on April 8, next year.
A trial has been set for July 18.
Martin, of Valley Close, Hartlepool, was released on unconditional bail.