NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — Bill Cosby spent another day in court on Thursday ahead of his sexual assault retrial. His defense team wanted the judge to step aside in the case, but the judge delivered a quick decision.
Jude Steven O’Neill ruled Thursday he will not step aside, amid the defense’s allegation of an appearance of possible bias.
The entertainer’s legal team filed a motion asking the judge to recuse himself, because the judge’s wife, Dr. Deborah O’Neill, is a therapist at the University of Pennsylvania and leads a team that “advocates for sexual assault victims.”
The judge stated the defense’s filed motion was “untimely” and that he and his wife are separate individuals.
The defense also claims Dr. O’Neill made a monetary donation to a women’s organization planning protests outside of the re-trial, but the judge stated that never happened and presented a document in court from the University of Pennsylvania as evidence. The document stated the monetary donation was made by the university’s Counseling and Psychological Services Department to a campus organization unaffiliated with the group planning to protest.
The judge did not make a ruling on the admissibility of Margo Jackson’s testimony, which claims Andrea Constand said she could accuse a celebrity of sexual assault for money.
During the last trial, which ended in June with a hung jury, the judge ruled this hearsay and would not allow it in court, but the defense is fighting to include it now.
The prosecution, meanwhile, called the defense’s arguments a “smoke machine.”
Pretrial motions continue Friday. Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday while opening statements are scheduled for April 9.