Southeastern PA

Cosby wants judge ousted over wife's sex-assault advocacy

PHILADELPHIA - Bill Cosby's lawyers are asking the judge in his upcoming sexual assault retrial to step aside, arguing he could be seen as biased because his wife is a social worker who's described herself as an "advocate for assault victims."

Cosby's lawyers said Thursday that some of Judge Steven O'Neill's rulings, including his decision to let five additional accusers testify, could give the appearance he's influenced by his wife's work.

Deborah O'Neill is the coordinator of a University of Pennsylvania sexual trauma outreach team. She wrote her dissertation on acquaintance rape.

The O'Neills did not immediately respond to messages.

Cosby has pleaded not guilty to charges he assaulted a woman at his Philadelphia-area home in 2004. His first trial ended in a hung jury. His retrial is scheduled for April 2.


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