Bill Cosby's lawyers appeal for new trial, but judges seem unconvinced

Jim Melwert
August 12, 2019 - 5:07 pm
Bill Cosby

Mark Makela/Getty Images

HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Bill Cosby’s lawyers were in Pennsylvania Superior Court Monday, trying to argue the 82-year-old deserves a new trial. 

But judging by the tone of the questions, it did not go well for Cosby.

His lawyers say the Montgomery County judge who oversaw Cosby’s criminal trial stripped him of his constitutional right of the presumption of innocence by allowing five other women to testify. 

His attorney, Kristen Weisenberger, tried to argue the prior accusations are too vague, considering they span decades before the day in question. 

But Superior Court Judge John Bender told her there are several similarities: An older man, in the role of a mentor, gave a younger, athletic woman drugs that essentially rendered her unable to resist, then he assaulted her.

"We were confident before we filed our briefs," said Montgomery County First Assistant District Attorney Ed McCann, "but yes, I’m definitely confident that we presented our case the way we should have presented it."

Cosby’s attorneys also argued the case against him should never have gone forward, since the district attorney at the time, Bruce Castor, claimed his decision not to press charges in 2005 bound the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office forever, and it stripped Cosby’s Fifth Amendment privileges when he gave a deposition in the civil case. 

But Superior Court judges noted repeatedly no such deal was ever put in writing, despite Cosby having some of the best lawyers in the country.

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Cosby was convicted last April and began his three- to 10-year prison sentence in September 2018.