Cosby will go to trial, judge says

Cosby’s legal team — which has been trying to dismiss sexual assault charges against the former trustee — argued that they should have been able to cross-examine his accuser.

Bill Cosby leaves a Montgomery County courthouse in July 2016 after his request for dismissal of charges was denied. FILE PHOTO | BRIANNA SPAUSE

NORRISTOWN — A Montgomery County judge on Thursday denied an attempt to dismiss sexual assault charges against Bill Cosby, the former Temple trustee who is accused of sexually assaulting a former women’s basketball employee in 2004.

Cosby’s legal team argued that his right to due process was violated during a preliminary hearing on May 24 because his accuser, Andrea Constand, did not testify on the stand and was not cross-examined by Cosby’s lawyers. They sought another preliminary hearing or dismissal of the charges altogether.

Instead, Court of Appeals Judge Steven O’Neill ruled that Cosby will go to trial.

“The presence of witnesses is not required at the preliminary hearing,” he said.

Cosby arrived at the 1 p.m. hearing in a tan suit and walked into the courthouse with his cane and security. The hearing lasted more than three hours and had three short recesses throughout.

“Once again the prosecution had the opportunity and the obligation to place this witness under oath so that we can begin the search for the truth,” Cosby’s attorney Brian McMonagle said in a statement. “Once again, they refused to do so.”

“Today, someone who has given so much to so many has had his constitutional rights trampled on again,” he added.

Cosby, 78, attended Temple in the 1970s and later received an honorary doctorate from the university. At the time of the alleged assault, Constand was the director of operations for the women’s basketball team; she is now a massage therapist in Toronto, according to The Toronto Sun.

Kevin Steele, Montgomery County’s district attorney, said in a news conference after the hearing he was ready to begin choosing a jury.

“Justice has been delayed too long,” Steele said.

A trial date has not yet been set.

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