In January, Bill Cosby’s lawyers filed a motion to get the criminal case against him for the 2004 sexual assault of Andrea Constand dismissed, or the district attorney disqualified. Now, the presiding judge has denied this motion.
The Associated Press reports that Cosby’s current lawyer had argued that the past District Attorney, Bruce Castor, had given another Cosby lawyer an unwritten promise of immunity 10 years ago in this case. On Wednesday, Judge Steven T. O’Neill denied this claim, as well as the motion to dismiss. Cosby’s case will proceed to a preliminary hearing, in which prosecutors must prove that they have enough evidence to try the former television star.
In addition, Judge O’Neill refused to disqualify Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele from prosecuting this case. Steele had run for the position in fall 2015 by criticizing Castor, his opponent for the position, for not prosecuting Cosby. Cosby’s lawyers argued for his disqualification on these grounds.
The accuser, Andrea Constand, is a former Temple University employee who alleges that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her at his mansion in 2004. D.A. Castor declined to bring charges against Cosby in 2006, but the District Attorney’s office decided to reopen the case last year.