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Entertainment Cosby judge pushes back against defense demand he step aside

18:03  29 march  2018
18:03  29 march  2018 Source:   ap.org

The Latest: Cosby judge won't toss sexual assault charges

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Entertainment Cosby defense team lobs attacks in court of public opinion. 09:10 23 april 2018. The judge in Bill Cosby 's sexual assault trial is pushing back at the defense 's demands that he step aside because his wife is a social worker and advocate for assault victims.

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — The judge in Bill Cosby 's sexual assault trial rejected demands Thursday from the comedian's defense lawyers that he step aside because his wife is a social worker and advocate for assault victims. Judge Steven O'Neill said at a pretrial hearing that he 's "not biased or prejudiced"

Bill Cosby arrives for a pretrial hearing in his sexual assault case, Thursday, March 29, 2018, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby arrives for a pretrial hearing in his sexual assault case, Thursday, March 29, 2018, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — The judge in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial pushed back Thursday at defense demands that he step aside because his wife is a social worker and advocate for assault victims.

Cosby's lawyers are making a last-ditch effort to postpone the comedian's sexual assault retrial by pressuring Judge Steven O'Neill to step aside after losing their bid to overturn his ruling allowing up to five additional accusers to testify.

Kathie Lee Gifford Reveals She Contacted Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby Amid Their Scandals

  Kathie Lee Gifford Reveals She Contacted Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby Amid Their Scandals Kathie Lee Gifford is not defending Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby, but she is explaining why she reached out to the pair, who have both been separately accused of sexual misconduct. “I don’t want to throw everybody on the same manure pile. Being a jerk is not the same as being a rapist. It just isn’t,” the Today show star, 64, told Andy Cohen for Sirius XM’s Radio Andy on Wednesday. “Yes, I’ve been friends with Bill for a long, long time,” she said when asked if she reached out to Cosby. “Harvey Weinstein was a friend of mine for 30 years. I called him and left a message,” added Gifford, who stated that she has been “sexually harassed, sexually abused and date raped” since she started in the business as a teenager. “I just want people to know I don’t judge them. I don’t like what they do, but God knows their hearts and there’s hope for them,” she said.

Cosby 's lawyers argued that the lawsuit and payment were the direct result of her scheming against him . In arguing for the judge to step aside , Cosby 's lawyers pointed to a 0 donation made in his wife's name to an organization that gave money to a group planning a protest outside of the retrial.

Bill Cosby 's lawyers are demanding a Pennsylvania judge step down from his upcoming molestation re-trial, alleging the jurist is biased because his wife works with sexual assault victims. The defense said she had also apparently donated money to an activist group that had specifically targeted Cosby .

O'Neill told a pretrial hearing Thursday that rulings he's made that went against Cosby aren't evidence he's being influenced by his wife's work.

The judge's wife, Deborah O'Neill, is a psychotherapist at the University of Pennsylvania and coordinates a team that cares and advocates for student sexual assault victims. Cosby's lawyers emphasized their concern over a $100 donation made in Deborah O'Neill's name to an organization that gave money to a group planning protests outside Cosby's retrial.

O'Neill said the donation was made 13 months ago by the university department where his wife works and that it wasn't a personal donation using her own money or their joint assets.

The 80-year-old Cosby faces charges that he drugged and molested former Temple University athletics administrator Andrea Constand at his home in 2004.

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The judge in Bill Cosby 's retrial rejected demands Thursday from the comedian's attorneys to step aside during a hearing in which they made clear The accusers, including model Janice Dickinson, were chosen from a group of eight women whose allegations date as far back as the early 1980s.

The Pennsylvania judge scheduled to sentence Bill Cosby next week declined on Wednesday to step away from the case, saying that a defense motion stating he had feuded with a key witness and should recuse himself came too late and was “wholly without merit.”.

O'Neill presided over Cosby's first trial, which ended in a hung jury last year. Jury selection in his retrial is scheduled for Monday, but the retrial could be delayed indefinitely if he bows out. O'Neill has yet to decide on the request.

O'Neill said Thursday that Cosby's old lawyers raised the prospect of having him step aside in December 2016, but never followed through.

The judge said lawyer Brian McMonagle told him Cosby wanted him to seek a recusal after seeing "something in the news" about Deborah O'Neill's profession. O'Neill said the only news item he could find at the time was one written by a vocal Cosby supporter.

As Cosby's lawyers are battling with O'Neill, they also are counting on him to make critical rulings to bolster their defense that Constand is a money-grubbing liar.

Cosby's lawyers want permission to call a witness who says Constand told her that she was not assaulted but could make up allegations to sue and get money, and they want jurors to hear how much Cosby paid her in a 2006 civil settlement.

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The judge in Bill Cosby ’s sexual assault trial rejected demands Thursday from the comedian’s defense lawyers that he step aside because The 80-year-old Cosby faces charges that he drugged and molested former Temple University athletics administrator Andrea Constand at his home in 2004.

The judge in Bill Cosby 's sexual assault trial is pushing back at the defense 's demands that he step aside because his wife is a social worker and advocate for assault victims. Judge Steven O'Neill told a pretrial hearing on Thursday that rulings he 's made that went against Cosby aren't evidence he 's

They also are still fighting O'Neill's ruling allowing as many as five additional accusers to testify after he allowed just one to take the stand at Cosby's first trial.

Pennsylvania's Superior Court on Wednesday rejected an appeal over O'Neill decision not to let Cosby's lawyers immediately challenge his ruling in a higher court.

Documents made public showed that prosecutors have chosen model Janice Dickinson as one of the women they plan to have testify. She says Cosby drugged and raped her in Lake Tahoe in 1982.

Prosecutors, who have decried the defense attacks on O'Neill as a "thinly veiled attempt to delay and pollute the jury pool," are looking for the judge to keep out talk of a prior investigation into Constand's allegations and a recent political race where putting Cosby behind bars was at issue.

Prosecutors say former District Attorney Bruce Castor's stated reasoning that he did not charge Cosby in 2005 because the case was weak and he wanted him to speak freely in a civil deposition is irrelevant to the case at hand.

They say Castor's unsuccessful campaign against current DA Kevin Steele in 2015 and his ongoing legal skirmish with Constand also are irrelevant.

Steele's predecessor, Risa Vetri Ferman, reopened the investigation in 2015 after The Associated Press fought to unseal parts of Cosby's deposition testimony — including lurid passages about him giving drugs to women he wanted to have sex with. Cosby was charged shortly before the statute of limitations was set to expire.

The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand and Dickinson have done.

Bill Cosby convicted of drugging and molesting a woman .
Bill Cosby defense lawyers say that a verdict has been reached in his sexual assault retrial.Cosby, 80, could end up spending his final years in prison after a jury concluded he sexually violated Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He claimed the encounter was consensual.

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