Cosby case continues after Faculty Senate motion

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for next week.

Board of Trustees Chairman Patrick O'Connor (center) could be called to testify at Bill Cosby's retrial to begin April 9. | ANDREW THAYER TTN FILE PHOTO
Cosby's next scheduled court date is Feb. 2. A Faculty Senate motion was passed last month calling for his degree to be revoked from the university | ANDREW THAYER TTN FILE PHOTO
Cosby’s next scheduled court date is Feb. 2. A Faculty Senate motion was passed last month calling for his degree to be revoked from the university | ANDREW THAYER TTN FILE PHOTO

More than a month after the Faculty Senate passed a motion calling for the Board of Trustees to revoke Bill Cosby’s honorary degree, no public action concerning it has been taken by the university’s highest governing body.

A university spokesman told The Temple News Friday that he is “unaware” of any discussion among the Board of Trustees about the motion.

The Temple News reported last month Cosby was arraigned on charges of aggravated indecent assault without consent, aggravated indecent assault where the victim is unconscious or unaware that penetration is occurring and aggravated indecent assault where the person impairs the victim. The defendant in the case is Andrea Constand—former director of operations for the women’s basketball team—who alleged that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in his Cheltenham house in 2004.

Marina Angel, who is teaching at Temple’s Japan  Campus this semester, drafted the motion. She said action on the motion is delayed, which is expected.

She also criticized Tricia Jones, the Faculty Senate president.

“The Senate President [Tricia] Jones is an apologist for the administration,” she said in an email. “Nothing will happen until I return.”

Jones said via email that she was “unaware that of any further action that has been taken on this matter by any party including the Faculty Senate.”

In response to Angel’s comment, Jones said in a telephone interview Monday that once the motion was passed last month, it was immediately sent to Temple administration.

“The [Faculty] Senate has done everything it can to bring these issues forward. … We also do not try people in the media,” she said.

Angel said that if no action is taken by the board, another motion could be drafted by the start of Fall 2016.

“The first motion condemned [Chairman of the Board] O’Connor and Cosby and asked that the Honorary Doctorate be revoked,” she said in an email. “This one will censor O’Connor and demand his removal from the TU Board.”

More than 30 other universities have revoked Cosby’s honorary degree, including Boston University, Drexel University and New York University.

Cosby’s Feb. 2 preliminary hearing was postponed following a Sept. 23, 2015 email from Bruce L. Castor Jr., a member of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, to then-District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, the Inquirer reported.

In the email, Castor said he struck a deal 10 years ago to never criminally prosecute Cosby for the 2004 Constand allegations.

Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O’Neill wrote an order that stated he would only hear arguments on the new defense Feb. 2, but on no other matters raised by the Cosby case, the Inquirer reported.

First Assistant District Attorney of Montgomery County Kevin Steele, however, asked O’Neill to proceed with the preliminary hearing instead of hearing the defense motion. No non-prosecution agreement between Cosby and Ferman ever legally existed, Steele said in the defense filing. O’Neill turned aside this request, the Inquirer reported.

Cosby’s attorneys, Brian McMonagle and Monique Pressley have asked that O’Neill throw out the aggravated indecent assault charge altogether. McMonagle and Pressley claim Castor provided Cosby with a legally binding non-prosecution agreement and filing the charges would violate this agreement, the Inquirer reported.

Castor is expected to testify in Cosby’s defense in the Feb. 2 hearing.

Cosby is facing between five to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Steve Bohnel and Lian Parsons can be reached at or on Twitter @TheTempleNews.

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