Bill Cosby’s attorneys filed a notice of appeal of a Pennsylvania judge’s refusal to dismiss criminal sexual assault charges against the comedian.
The notice appeal to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania was filed on Friday. His attorneys are also appealing Judge Steven T. O’Neill’s refusal to disqualify Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele, the lead prosecutor who brought the charges against the entertainer in late December.
The criminal case stems from Temple University employee Andrea Constand’s allegations of sexual assault in 2004. Cosby’s legal team argues that then-District Attorney Bruce L. Castor, Jr. promised not to prosecute him, and that Cosby’s due process rights have been violated because of the 12-year delay in bringing charges.
His attorneys also say that the prosecution will be based on deposition testimony that Cosby gave in Constand’s civil suit. They say that in giving the testimony, Cosby relied on the promise “that he would not (and therefore, could not) be prosecuted for the events that he discussed at the deposition.”
O’Neill refused to throw out the charges, writing in a Feb. 4 order that there was “no basis to grant the requested relief.”
Cosby’s legal team is seeking certification of O’Neill’s order so an appeal can proceed.
In the deposition, made public last year, Cosby said he gave Constand one and a half tablets of Benadryl to relieve stress, before they kissed and then had sexual contact. Cosby has maintained that it was consensual.
Cosby faces three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault. He is charged with drugging and then sexually abusing Constand, who was an employee of Temple University. He also talked about his sexual encounters with other women and of obtaining quaaludes in the 1970s to give to women, describing them as “the same as a person would say, ‘Have a drink.'”
This is the only case in which Cosby faces criminal charges. Dozens of women have come forward with claims of sexual assault, but they are beyond the statute of limitations.
A preliminary hearing in the case has been scheduled for March 8.
On Thursday, a federal judge in Massachusetts ruled that Cosby’s wife, Camille Cosby, will be required to give a deposition in a civil defamation case brought by seven of Bill Cosby’s accusers. But the judge, Mark G. Mastroianni, wrote that she would not have to answer questions that fall under the marital disqualification rule, like private conversations that she had with her husband.
The deposition will take place on Feb. 22.