Actor and comedian Bill Cosby will not have his criminal case halted by he appeals a ruling that his sexual assault prosecution should proceed to trial.
By Laura McCrystal and Jeremy Roebuck / The Philadelphia Inquirer
A Montgomery County judge on Tuesday rejected Bill Cosby's attempt to halt his criminal case while he appeals a ruling that the sexual assault prosecution should proceed to trial.
"An immediate appeal from these orders would not materially advance the ultimate termination of the matter," Judge Steven T. O'Neill wrote.
The petition to Judge O'Neill was one of two Mr. Cosby's lawyers filed last week in a bid to halt the prosecution. The second, filed with Pennsylvania Superior Court, is still pending.
Mr. Cosby wants the court to pause the criminal proceedings and review Judge O'Neill's decision to let the criminal case proceed.
After a two-day hearing this month, Judge O'Neill rejected defense lawyers' contention that they had a legally binding decision — even if just a verbal one — when a former district attorney promised them in 2005 that Mr. Cosby would never be prosecuted over the allegations brought by Andrea Constand, a Temple University employee.
District Attorney Kevin Steele has maintained there was no proof of any such agreement. He also has said Mr. Cosby has no right to appeal Judge O'Neill's ruling at this stage.
If the Superior Court does not accept the appeal, Mr. Cosby's case will proceed to a March 8 preliminary evidentiary hearing.
Charged with aggravated indecent assault for his 2004 encounter with Ms. Constand, Mr. Cosby faces five to 10 years in prison.