Bill Cosby Judge Rejects Request to Step Down Because His Wife Supports Rape Victims 


Earlier today, Judge Steven O’Neill denied the request from Bill Cosby’s lawyers that O’Neill recuse himself from the case because of his wife’s work with rape victims. Deborah O’Neill is a clinical social worker and coordinates the the University of Pennsylvania’s Sexual Trauma Treatment Outreach and Prevention program.

In denying the request, O’Neill said he could dismiss it purely because it was filed too close to when the trial is about to start. But he went on to comment further saying, as summarized that the Associated Press, that the request “presented an antiquated view of marriage where spouses must agree on everything.” O’Neill, who kept a steady demeanor through the last trial, got emotional talking about the motion.

The Washington Post report noted that, as in the first trial, the Cosby legal team openly courting the media with the way it handled this request—and, again, the judge was pissed off about it.

O’Neill was clearly irked at the defense, and he did nothing to hide his annoyance at Cosby’s team for distributing their court filing demanding his recusal to the media before it was officially accepted by the clerk of court’s office. Cosby, dressed in a dark blue suit with a red tie and matching pocket handkerchief, watched the back-and-forth with a look of bemusement. As Mesereau and his co-counsels argued with the judge, Cosby — now 80 — periodically smirked, smiled and chuckled as he rocked in his swivel chair at the head of the defense table.

Cosby is facing the same charges as last yer, but this trial will be different, most notably in that prosecutors were granted their request to have more alleged Cosby victims testify. Last year, they were only allowed one additional alleged victim; this time, they can have five. The names of those who will testify haven’t been released yet, but Janice Dickinson said she will be one of them.

Jury selection is scheduled to start on Monday. Before that starts, O’Neill is deciding on various pretrial motions, including a request by Cosby’s lawyers to bring up Andrea Constand’s settlement of her civil suit against Cosby. In case you had any doubts about what the defense team’s strategy will be, this quote makes it incredibly clear.

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