Prosecutors Say Bill Cosby’s Bid for a New Trial Is ‘Meritless’

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
October 20, 2018US News

Prosecutors in Bill Cosby’s sex assault case called his bid for a new trial or sentencing hearing “meritless,” and asked the judge to deny him a post-trial hearing.

The legal team for Cosby, 81, had beseeched the judge for a sentence that kept him out of jail after he was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia home in 2004.

Instead, Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill sentenced him to three to 10 years in prison.

“It is time for justice. Mr. Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The time has come,” Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill said, before quoting from the victim’s own statement to the court, in which she said Cosby took her “beautiful, young spirit and crushed it.”

The judge also declared him a “sexually violent predator” who remains a danger to the community.

Bill Cosby's at his sentencing hearing
Bill Cosby departs the Montgomery County Courthouse on the first day of sentencing in his sexual assault trial in Norristown, Pennsylvania, Sept. 24, 2018. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)


Prosecutors said that Cosby’s bid for a new trial or sentencing hearing, which focused on what Cosby’s lawyers said is a number of errors that the judge made during the initial mistrial in 2017 and the retrial this year, arguing that the judge should have recused himself.

But in a memo filed Friday, District Attorney Kevin Steele said Cosby’s objections are “time-worn” and have been rejected by the judge before.

Cosby said the sentence, more than twice the minimum suggested in state guidelines was too much and complained he must admit the crime and undergo sex-offender therapy to have any real chance at parole in three years. Steele, in response, called parole “only a possibility,” and said the state parole board was free to set the rules.

The defense had also attacked the validity of a taped phone confrontation between the accuser’s mother and Cosby in early 2005. Cosby, in his post-trial motion, said the tape had been doctored. Prosecutors said it has long been clear the mother was struggling with the tape recorder and did not record the entire call.

The defense also claimed the actor’s 2015 arrest may have come too late because it’s unclear when the encounter took place. But Steele noted that Cosby himself said in a deposition it occurred in 2004, which was within the 12-year window to file charges.

Andrea Constand
Bill Cosby victim Andrea Constand with Special Prosecutor Kristen Gibbons Feden as Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele looks on, in Norristown, Pa., on April 26, 2018. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

Drugged and Raped

Cosby has admitted giving Benedryl to Constand but has argued that the sex they had was consensual. Constand, a former Temple University employee, said Cosby took advantage of her in 2004 at his Philadelphia home after he drugged her.

“I was completely vulnerable and powerless to protect myself. After the assault, I wasn’t sure what had actually happened but the pain spoke volumes. The shame was overwhelming. Self-doubt and confusion kept me from turning to my family or friends as I normally did. I felt completely alone, unable to trust anyone, including myself,” she wrote.

Cosby, best known for playing the wise-cracking Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the top-ranked “Cosby Show” from 1984 to 1992, is imprisoned at a state prison in Collegeville, about 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

The Associated Press contributed to this report


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