Cosby Legal Team Wants Judge Recused

Bill Cosby leaves a Montgomery County Courtroom for a lunch break during a pretrial hearing in his sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, April 3, 2017. (Clem Murray/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

Bill Cosby leaves a Montgomery County Courtroom for a lunch break during a pretrial hearing in his sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, April 3, 2017. (Clem Murray/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

Bill Cosby’s lawyers on Thursday asked the judge in his upcoming sexual assault retrial to recuse himself on the grounds that the judge could be seen as biased because his wife is a therapist who has described herself as an “activist and advocate for assault victims.”

Cosby’s lawyers contend some of Judge Steven O’Neill’s recent pretrial rulings could give the appearance he’s being influenced by his wife’s work, particularly his decision last week to let prosecutors have up to five additional accusers testify when he allowed just one at the first trial. O’Neill did not immediately rule on the request. He and his wife, Dr Deborah O’Neill, did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Dr O’Neill is a psychotherapist at the University of Pennsylvania and coordinates a team providing care, support and advocacy for student sexual assault victims. In 2012, she wrote her doctoral dissertation, titled, Responding to College Campus Acquaintance Rape: Contextual Issues and the Challenge of Inter-Organizational Collaboration.

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