Shirts, flowers showing support banned at Bill Cosby retrial
Shirts, flowers showing support banned at Bill Cosby retrial
Bill Cosby’s defense team wants a new judge because this judge is married to an advocate for victims of sexual assault
24 March, 2018, 17:07
Lawyers for Bill Cosby have reportedly asked that Judge Steven O'Neill be replaced as presiding judge during the comedian's retrial, because his wife is a big supporter of sexual assault victims. They're now banned. Cosby has pleaded not guilty to charges he assaulted a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. Now, The New York Times reported Thursday, Cosby's team has requested that a new judge be assigned to his case, on the notion that O'Neill had a "clear appearance of partiality". Jury selection in his retrial is scheduled to start on 2 April in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
At the first trial, which collapsed when the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict, O'Neill ruled that only one other accuser could take the stand.
STTOP provides counseling to students who have experienced sexual trauma and has a stance that "the culture of silence surrounding sexual assault and rape....undermines the public health and safety of all members of a community".
Last year, the star's lawyers said, Deborah O'Neill gave money to a group linked to an organization that is planning a protest outside the forthcoming retrial. The defense team argued that the judge could be biased because his wife is a social worker who works with victims of sexual assault.
Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele arrives for the fifth day of deliberations in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
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The decision applies to courtrooms and anywhere the items might be spotted by jurors, he noted. They alleged that his wife is behind the order and that she influenced O'Neill's decision. He called the defense's motion an "unfounded and malicious" attempt to discredit the judicial system.
The first trial was declared a mistrial by O'Neill after the jury remained "deadlocked on all counts" following six days of deliberations.
"Typically, the conflicts of interest involving spouses relate to whether the spouse has a direct financial interest" to a party in the case, he said.
"Thus, Dr. O'Neill - the spouse of the trial judge presiding over this case - has apparently donated marital assets to the very organization that will be protesting against Mr. Cosby at his upcoming retrial, whose stated objective is to show support for Andrea Constand and the other 404 accusers", reads the court memo about the replacement.
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