PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Imprisoned actor Bill Cosby is renewing attacks on a Pennsylvania trial judge as he seeks bail while he appeals his sex-assault conviction.
Lawyers for the 81-year-old Cosby filed a bail motion Wednesday with the state Superior Court. They complained that in the seven months since Cosby’s sentencing, Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill has not issued his post-trial opinion explaining key trial decisions. They need the opinion in hand to raise alleged trial errors and pursue Cosby’s appeals.
Cosby’s lawyers filed notice in December of the alleged trial errors they plan to pursue. O’Neill is expected to address them in the opinion.
The motion again accuses O’Neil of harboring a personal grudge against a former prosecutor who became a key defense witness. And they say Cosby is likely to have his “legally infirm and unsupported” conviction overturned and should therefore be granted bail, especially given his “advanced age.”
The defense also plans to challenge the judge’s decisions to assign himself the case, let five other Cosby accusers testify, and let the jury hear Cosby’s prior deposition testimony about quaaludes. They also insist that Cosby had a binding promise from the former prosecutor that he would never be charged over the 2004 encounter with Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his estate near Philadelphia.
She went to police a year later, but Cosby was only charged in late 2015, after dozens of other women had made similar accusations and his testimony from Constand’s civil lawsuit was made public.
Both O’Neill’s office and District Attorney Kevin Steele’s spokeswoman declined to comment on the latest defense filing.
O’Neill sentenced Cosby, long a beloved American entertainer and TV star, to a three- to 10-year prison term for drugging and molesting Constand.
The Associated Press does not typically identify sex assault victims without their permission, which Constand has given.