The Latest: Cosby judge refuses defense request to step down

The Latest: Cosby judge refuses defense request to step down
The Associated Press

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on a pretrial hearing in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault case (all times local):

11:20 a.m.

The judge in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial has rebuffed demands 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 announced his decision at a pretrial hearing Thursday. He says he’s “not biased or prejudiced” by his wife’s work.

Cosby’s lawyers say they were compelled to ask for O’Neill’s recusal after a series of adverse rulings, including a decision to allow five additional accusers testify the judge let just one take the witness stand at Cosby’s first trial last year.

O’Neill says the assertion that he shares the same views as his wife or has let his rulings be influenced by her profession “is faulty, plain and simple.”

Jury selection in his retrial starts Monday.

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10:15 a.m.

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 being influenced by his wife’s work.

Cosby’s lawyers say they were compelled to ask for O’Neill’s recusal after a series of adverse rulings, including a decision to allow five additional accusers testify the judge let just one take the witness stand at Cosby’s first trial last year.

O’Neill has yet to decide on the request.

Cosby’s first trial ended in a hung jury. Jury selection in his retrial starts Monday.

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8:30 a.m.

Bill Cosby has arrived at the courthouse as his lawyers are expected to make a last-ditch effort to postpone the comedian’s sexual assault retrial.

Cosby arrived Thursday morning for the final pretrial hearing in suburban Philadelphia.

Cosby’s lawyers are expected to pressure Judge Steven O’Neill to step aside because they say his wife is a social worker who has described herself as an “advocate for assault victims.”

They lost a bid to overturn his ruling allowing up to five additional accusers to testify.

O’Neill presided over Cosby’s first trial, which ended in a hung jury last year. The retrial could be delayed indefinitely if he bows out.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday.

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1 a.m.

Bill Cosby’s lawyers are expected to make a last-ditch effort to postpone the comedian’s sexual assault retrial.

The final pretrial hearing is scheduled for Thursday in suburban Philadelphia.

Cosby’s lawyers are expected to pressure Judge Steven O’Neill to step aside after they lost a bid to overturn his ruling allowing up to five additional accusers to testify.

They first demanded O’Neill recuse himself last week, arguing in court papers that he could be seen as biased because his wife is a social worker who has described herself as an “advocate for assault victims.”

O’Neill presided over Cosby’s first trial, which ended in a hung jury last year. The retrial could be delayed indefinitely if he bows out.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin on Monday.

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