Judge nixes Cosby request to step down; sentencing Monday

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Bill Cosby’s trial judge is rejecting a defense motion to step down from the sex assault case before Monday’s sentencing hearing in suburban Philadelphia.

Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill has seen the case through two trials, hard-fought pretrial hearings and 15 defense lawyers since Cosby’s arrest in late 2015.

Camille Cosby argues in a state ethics complaint this week that O’Neill is biased against her husband because of an alleged feud with a former prosecutor who became a witness in the case.

O’Neill in an opinion Wednesday says the defense motion is “meritless” and doesn’t raise any new information about his past.

The 81-year-old Cosby faces a 30-year maximum term after a jury found he drugged and molested a woman friend at his estate in 2004. But state guidelines call for about one to four years.

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