Convicted sex assailant and fallen TV idol Bill Cosby is due to be sentenced in two weeks, but his new team of lawyers has returned to an old legal strategy to make the case, the conviction and possibly 30 years in prison disappear: Dump the judge.
On Tuesday, Cosby’s defense team filed a motion aimed at getting the judge in his case, Judge Steven O’Neill, to bow out so a new judge can be appointed to reconsider one of Cosby’s earliest failed attempts to get the three-count sexual assault case against him dismissed.
It’s not unusual for defendants to seek to get rid of a judge. It’s less common to do so two weeks before a two-day sentencing hearing.
On Sept. 24-25, O’Neill is scheduled to hear testimony on whether Cosby, 81, will be designated a “sexually violent predator” and whether he should get up to 30 years in prison for his conviction in April for drugging and sexually assaulting Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his home outside Philadelphia in January 2004.
But Cosby’s third team of lawyers, led by Philadelphia attorney Joseph Green, are arguing that the case has to go back to when it started in early 2016 when Cosby repeatedly sought to get the charges thrown out and the judge to step down. O’Neill repeatedly denied his motions.
Now, Green asserts that “recently uncovered facts” suggest O’Neill was biased against Cosby from the beginning due to a long-standing political feud with a critical witness, former District Attorney Bruce Castor, that the judge failed to disclose after he was assigned the case in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
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