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Bill Cosby's judge isn't recusing himself despite bias accusations

Bill Cosby‘s judge is staying put — and will sentence the convicted funnyman in Pennsylvania next week.

Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill ruled Wednesday that he had no intention of stepping aside ahead of the 81-year-old’s sentencing Monday on sex assault charges.

Cosby’s defense team filed a second motion last week asking O’Neill to recuse himself, claiming he’d failed to disclose a decades-old political beef with the former district attorney who refused to prosecute Cosby on criminal charges.

Prosecutors likened the filing to a stall tactic.

In his seven-page ruling, O’Neill — who has overseen Cosby’s case since his 2015 arrest — denied that any bias existed.

“No ‘grudge,’ animus, bias or prejudice can be claimed because it does not exist,” the judge wrote. “This court simply has no bias against any witness called by the defense or the Defendant himself.”

And even if it did, the jurist said, Cosby’s defense team has been long aware that he once ran against former Montgomery County DA Bruce Castor — and lost — which renders their most recent motion “untimely” and therefore moot.

“Clearly, the defendant was aware, or should have been aware, of the basis for the instant motion in March of 2018 at the latest, prior to the commencement of the retrial,” O’Neill writes.

The judge’s decision comes just two days after Camille Cosby called for an ethics board to investigate O’Neill, and filed a complaint with the Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania.

Lawyers for Cosby first tried to have O’Neill tossed from the case in a March 21, 2018 filing, in which they claimed he could not be impartial because his wife is a therapist who counseled survivors of sexual assault.

An emotional O’Neill refused to recuse himself on those grounds during an emotional court appearance earlier this year, where, near tears, he said of his spouse: “It’s difficult to have her accomplishments trivialized by a partisan motion.”

“My wife’s personal beliefs and her professional activities are of no consequence. They do not influence me one iota,” he told the court.

Cosby was convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault in April, after his June 2016 trial ended with a hung jury.

He faces up to 10 years behind bars on each count.

His sentencing, which is expected to span two days, is scheduled to begin Monday.
https://www.geezgo.com/sps/39837


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