Bill Cosby Trying to Get Out of Jail as Lawyers Seek New Trial

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
October 8, 2018 Updated: October 8, 2018

Bill Cosby is seeking a release from prison just under two weeks after he was sentenced behind bars for at least three years, following a jury convicting Cosby in April of raping Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia home in 2004.

A judge told the 81-year-old “Cosby Show” star on Sept. 25, when he was sentenced, that the conviction and prison sentence marked justice for Constand.

“It is time for justice. Mr. Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The time has come,” Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill said, before quoting from the victim’s own statement to the court, in which she said Cosby took her “beautiful, young spirit and crushed it.”

Cosby is being held at SCI Phoenix, a new 3,830-bed state prison near Philadelphia.

Prior to sentencing, Cosby’s lawyers beseeched the lawyer for a sentence that kept Cosby out of prison, noting that he’s legally blind and has difficulty walking.

bill cosby mug shot
Bill Cosby’s mug shot was released on Sept. 25, 2018. (Montgomery County Correctional Facility)

Defense Files Motion

Now his legal team is attempting to get him out of prison while getting a new trial scheduled, and O’Neill tossed.

“The defendant, William H. Cosby, Jr., moves this Court for a new trial in the interest of justice, or at least for reconsideration and modification of the sentence imposed” a defense motion filed in Pennsylvania state court on Oct. 5, and made public over the weekend stated, reported Deadline.

The document cites what Cosby’s lawyers say are a number of errors that O’Neill made during the initial mistrial in 2017 and the retrial this year, arguing that the judge should have recused himself.

Another claim, that a key piece of evidence, a videotape, was “not authentic,” was addressed in late September by Montogomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele following the sentencing. “If that’s what they’ve got, it’s beyond a Hail Mary,” he said standing next Constand, reported the Associated Press.

Steele’s office is expected to reply to the motion this week.

Andrea Constand
Andrea Constand leaves after the first day of the sentencing hearing in the sexual assault trial of entertainer Bill Cosby at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., on Sept. 24, 2018. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

Constand’s Testimony

Cosby has admitted giving Benedryl to Constand but has argued that the sex they had was consensual. Constand, a former Temple University employee, said Cosby took advantage of her in 2004 at his Philadelphia home after he drugged her.

She said that she was a top athlete at the time.

“I had just given my two-month notice at Temple when the man I had come to know as a mentor and friend drugged and sexually assaulted me. Instead of being able to run, jump and pretty much do anything I wanted physically, during the assault I was paralyzed and completely helpless. I could not move my arms or legs. I couldn’t speak or even remain conscious,” she wrote.

“I was completely vulnerable and powerless to protect myself. After the assault, I wasn’t sure what had actually happened but the pain spoke volumes. The shame was overwhelming. Self-doubt and confusion kept me from turning to my family or friends as I normally did. I felt completely alone, unable to trust anyone, including myself.”


Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.