The America dad Bill Cosby has filed court papers late on Friday, through his lawyer asking the Pennsylvania judge who sent him to prison for up to 10 years for sexual assault to grant him a new trial, or to reduce his sentence because of alleged procedural errors.
The once-beloved comedian, known as “America’s Dad” in the 1980s and 1990s during the run of his hit television sitcom, was marched out of court in shackles and began serving his sentence immediately.
The judge has been criticized as biased and unethical to reconsider his three-to-10-year sentence.But If Judge Steven O’Neill denies the motion Cosby’s lawyers filed over the weekend then the defense team will likely go over O’Neill’s head to challenge the sentence to a three-judge panel of the state Superior Court.
Cosby’s lawyers said the judge abused his discretion by failing to adequately consider the 81-year-old entertainer’s age and failing eyesight, and should have recused himself from sentencing. Cosby’s attorneys have previously taken issue with the judge’s wife being a psychiatrist who works with sexual assault victims.
Cosby’s lawyers are “trying to make a record of their reasons why they think his sentence was excessive” for use later in a full appeal of the conviction.
In seeking a new trial, attorneys Peter Goldberger and Joseph Green said they had found evidence which shows that a recording of a phone call with Cosby made by Constand’s mother, Gianna, and played at the trial was not authentic.
The lawyers also resurrected their claim that Cosby was not at his home when Constand said he assaulted her and that if there was an incident, it would have occurred outside of the state’s 12-year statute of limitations.
Cosby is the first celebrity to be convicted of sexual abuse since the start of the #MeToo movement on social media, the national reckoning with misconduct that has brought down dozens of powerful men in entertainment, politics and other fields while demanding greater respect for and representation of women.