Judge O'Neill Will Not Recuse Himself in Cosby Trial

Bill Cosby is walks into the Montgomery County Courthouse on Friday morning. | SYDNEY SCHAEFER  THE TEMPLE NEWS

Bill Cosby is walks into the Montgomery County Courthouse on Friday morning. | SYDNEY SCHAEFER THE TEMPLE NEWS

That is in contrast to the panel for Mr. Cosby's trial previous year, when jurors were chosen from Allegheny County in western Pennsylvania because of concerns that it would hard to find an impartial jury near Mr. Cosby's hometown, Philadelphia.

Cosby's lawyers outlined their strategy on Thursday as they argued for permission to call Marguerite Jackson.

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

Prosecutors say it's pure heresay and irrelevant. They argued that if the settlement is allowed in, jurors should also hear about negotiations that led to the settlement.

The judge ended today's hearing without ruling on another motion concerning what the jury should learn about the civil settlement Cosby and Constand reached in 2005.

In a sworn affidavit submitted by the defense, Jackson said she and Constand were watching a news segment about a prominent person accused of drugging and sexually assaulting women, and that Constand told her that she had experienced something similar but did not report it to police.

It is undisputed that Constand met Cosby through her position at Temple, where Cosby was a trustee, in the early 2000s as operations manager for the women's basketball team.

Cosby says he wants to attack Contand's credibility and establish selfish motives by introducing a woman he says heard Constand talk about being able to set up a celebrity to make money.

Judge Steven O'Neill announced his decision at a pretrial hearing Thursday.

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The defense said this donation and his wife's work with survivors of sexual assault show partiality.

O'Neill is allowing testimony from five additional women who claim to have been sexually assaulted by Cosby, after last time allowing only one other to take the stand.

The judge said at a pretrial hearing that he's "not biased or prejudiced" by his wife's work and that 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".

The judge in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial is pushing back at the defence's demands that he step aside because his wife is a social worker and advocate for assault victims.

Thursday's hearing started with arguments over the judge's wife, Deborah O'Neill, a psychotherapist at the University of Pennsylvania who coordinates a team that cares and advocates for student sexual assault victims. O'Neill told McMonagle he would need to bring up the request in court or in a filing, and he never did.

The June 2017 trial irrevocably damaged the once towering icon of United States popular culture, loved by millions as "America's Dad" and best known for his seminal role as a father and obstetrician on hit 1984-92 TV series "The Cosby Show". Cosby's lawyers said that past year she gave money to a group linked to an organization that is planning a protest outside the retrial.

Cosby was escorted into the courthouse Thursday morning on the arm of his spokesman.

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

Cosby's first trial a year ago ended in June with a mistrial when jurors failed to reach a unanimous decision. Jury selection in his retrial is scheduled for Monday, but the retrial could be delayed indefinitely if he bows out.

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