Disgraced comedy legend Bill Cosby was dealt a legal blow on Thursday when a Pennsylvania judge ruled there was enough evidence to proceed with a criminal trial. Judge Steven O’Neill denied Cosby’s lawyers’ request to dismiss the charges on the grounds that they were never given the chance to cross-examine Andrea Constand, Cosby’s accuser in this case, during the preliminary hearing in May. Instead of Constand appearing in court at the time, prosecutors presented evidence from a police statement given by Constand a decade after the alleged crime. Cosby’s lawyers argued that Constand’s statement to police is hearsay and raised more legal questions that it answered. But the judge didn’t buy that line of reasoning, and ruled the trial will go forward. “It’s our position that we’re not going to re-traumatize victims,” he said about the decision.
Cosby sat silently in court watching the proceedings unfold. Afterward, prosecutors lauded O’Neill’s ruling and Cosby’s lawyers criticized it. Brian McMonagle, the 78-year-old comedian’s lead attorney, vowed to clear Cosby’s “good name.”
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