Lawyers for disgraced comedian Bill Cosby are attempting to have his conviction for sexual assault overturn less than two weeks after he began his 3-10 year prison sentence.
Cosby’s defense team filed a motion in Pennsylvania state court as part of an attempt to get the 81-year-old released from jail, claiming the judge who sentenced him made errors in the original trial in 2017 and the subsequent retrial.
“The defendant, William H. Cosby, Jr, moves this Court for a new trial in the interest of justice, or at least for reconsideration and modification of the sentence imposed on September 25, 2018,” the motion says, reports Deadline.
According to the motion, Judge Steven O’Neill made a mistake in referring to Cosby as a
“sexually violent predator” who must be imprisoned as he would be a danger to the community after he was found guilty of three counts of aggravated assault against Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia home in 2004.
According to state law, a sexually violent predator is someone who suffers from a “mental abnormality” or personality disorder which makes the person likely to engage in predatory sexually violent offenses.
Cosby’s team, Joseph Green, Jr. and Peter Goldberger, also argued that O’Neill should have recused himself from imposing a sentence in September, believing that a “reasonable observer could question the impartiality of the judge.” The lawyers suggested that Cosby’s 3-10 year sentence was more severe than necessary given the defendant’s age, his poor health and the fact he is legally blind.
The motion also argued that O’Neill erroneously considered the testimony of five other accusers while sentencing Cosby, the Associated Press reported.
Cosby’s attorneys also said a key piece of evidence used against Cosby—an audio recording of a conversation between Cosby and Gianna Constand, Andrea Constand’s mother—should be dismissed as it is “not authentic” and that evidence presented during the trial did not prove Cosby was arrested within the 12-year statute of limitations.
Following his arrest on December 30, 2015, Cosby was found guilty of three counts of aggravated sexual assault in April following a retrial when the jury in the original proceedings failed to reach a verdict.
Around 60 women have claimed they were abused by the entertainer, best known for his stand-up career as well as his role as Dr. Cliff Huxtable on The Cosby Show.
Cosby has been serving his time in a state prison near Philadelphia since he was sentenced on September 25.