Trials & Litigation

Judge in Cosby case tells shouting lawyers that deputies will be called if they can't be civil

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Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby. Image from Randy Miramontez /

A Pennsylvania judge issued a warning on Tuesday to the prosecutor and defense lawyer in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault case: If you can’t be civil, sheriff’s deputies will be called in.

The lawyers’ outbursts occurred during a hearing on whether prosecutors can introduce testimony from 13 other accusers in Cosby’s trial for the alleged sexual assault of a former Temple University employee, report the Associated Press in stories here and here, the Bucks County Courier Times and NBC News.

Judge Steven O’Neill scolded the lawyers twice during the hearing. “You don’t want to get involved with the sheriff’s office if you can’t control yourselves,” he said.

One dispute concerned a bid by Cosby defense lawyer Brian McMonagle to identify Cosby’s accusers by name. Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele “became enraged” during McMonagle’s argument, and suggested that the lawyer wanted to identify the women to intimidate them, according to the AP account. McMonagle responded that the women “are adults, not children.”

Steele also “blew up” when the defense positioned a projection screen in a way that, he said, allowed reporters to see the accusers’ names, according to AP.

O’Neill decided that Cosby’s lawyers could identify 11 of the women, but not two others who did not go public.

Cosby also spoke up during the hearing, answering two questions O’Neill had posed to the lawyers. When O’Neill asked for his date of birth, Cosby “loudly responded” that he was born on July 12, 1937. When the judge was trying to figure out the location of the Drake Hotel, Cosby blurted out that it was in Chicago.

According to the Courier Times, Cosby is legally blind “and suffers bouts of dementia.”

Hat tip to Above the Law.

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