Prosecutors: Bill Cosby’s bid for new trial is ‘meritless’
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — 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.
Cosby, 81, has asked for a do-over in the Pennsylvania sex assault case that ended with him being sent to prison last month to serve a three- to 10-year sentence. A jury found he had drugged and molested a woman at his suburban Philadelphia estate more than a decade ago. The judge declared him a “sexually violent predator” who remains a danger to the community.
Defense lawyers later argued Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill made mistakes during the trial and sentencing that invalidate the conviction and punishment. 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 called the sentence more than twice the minimum suggested in state guidelines, 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 board was free to set the rules.
The defense 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.
And the defense said the entertainer’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 – within the 12-year window to file charges.
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.