Cosby lawyers, refusing to give up, seek overturn of sentence
Just two weeks after he was sentenced to prison for sexual assault, the embattled comedian's attorneys are saying the judge was heavyhanded when he sent him to prison
Lawyers for disgraced actor Bill Cosby are asking a Pennsylvania court to overturn his conviction on sexual assault charges.
The motion, filed by Cosby’s defense lawyers, cites numerous errors allegedly made during the trial earlier this year and argues that Judge Steven O’Neill made a mistake in declaring Cosby a “sexually violent predator” who should be placed behind bars to protect others.
Cosby, 81 and blind, was immediately remanded to incarceration after his sentencing on Sept. 25. The former TV dad who played Cliff Huxtable on The Cosby Show was sentenced to 3-10 years in prison for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Costand 14 years ago at his home in Pennsylvania.
Cosby’s lawyers argue that his sentence is more punitive than necessary, especially given his age and health, the Associated Press is reporting. The typical sentencing guideline range for someone in Cosby’s demographic is 2-3 years, the AP reports the lawyers maintain.
The lawyers also say that the prosecution never proved that the incident with Costand took place in 2003, not 2004. The lawyers also argue that Cosby was not arrested within a 12-year time limit, according to the AP.
The lawyers also maintained that O’Neill should have recused himself from the sentencing hearing after the 2017 mistrial, Page Six is reporting.
“For the reasons detailed in Mr. Cosby’s previously filed motions for recusal (which are incorporated here by reference, without being repeated and set forth at length), and for all the foregoing reasons, a reasonable observer could question the impartiality of the judge,” the filing reads. “Accordingly, Judge O’Neill should have recused himself from imposing sentence.”
Cosby is incarcerated at a state prison outside of Philadelphia.
Montgomery County, Penn., prosecutors told the AP that they will file a response to the defense lawyers’ motion.
Costand was one of 60 women who stepped forward to accuse Cosby of sexual assault. His case helped fuel the #MeToo movement.