Looks like it could be very bad news for Bill Cosby.
The sexual assault case against the sitcom star will move forward to an evidence hearing after a Pennsylvania judge refused to press pause on the criminal proceedings and give Cosby’s attorneys a chance to get the charges tossed by a Superior Court.
The Associated Press reports the 78-year-old TV star is accused of drugging and sexually molesting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004 and could get 10 years in prison if convicted. After failing to ward off the charges in the first place, the defense claimed Cosby had a promise from a previous district attorney he would never be charged over the encounter if he agreed to give a deposition in the civil lawsuit brought against him by Constand. Cosby obliged, and the contents of that deposition were unsealed last year and pretty much confirmed the rumors of Cosby’s predatory behavior.
Cosby’s attorneys argued that the 78-year-old is being used as a political pawn in a feud between Castor, who allegedly promised not to arrest Cosby a decade ago, and Kevin Steele, who used the case against Castor as he campaigned against him last fall. Steele won the race for district attorney and filed charges against Cosby in December, days before the filing deadline expired.
Judge Steven O’Neill, who is presiding over the case, didn’t feel the defense provided enough evidence of a deal with the former district attorney, Bruce L. Castor Jr., and rejected Cosby’s lawyers’ request for a delay. That means, the trial moves forward.
A spokesman for Cosby’s lawyers said they had no comment on the decision. Cosby remains free — for now — on $1 million bail. At least Cosby’s wife, Camille Cosby, has been able to stay out of his legal mess, though who knows for how long.