Bill Cosby’s lead defense lawyer quits ahead of re-trial

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Bill Cosby’s defense lawyer has quit ahead of the comedian’s second sexual assault trial.

Bill Cosby’s defense attorney Brian McMonagle has quit ahead of the comedian’s second sexual assault trial.

“It’s true and we’re still vetting lawyers that are on my short list,” Cosby’s publicist Andrew Wyatt told USA Today on Tuesday. “That person will be named later in the month.”

Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill has not yet approved McMonagle’s motion to withdraw. But according to the paper, once he does, Cosby will have until Aug. 21 to name a new lawyer for the second trial.

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No reason was given for McMonagle’s departure, which comes just over three months before Cosby’s trial is scheduled to begin on Nov. 6. Cosby is charged is drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004.

The comedian’s last trial resulted in a mistrial due to a hung jury back in June. After days of deliberation the jury told the court it was deadlocked — with all but two jurors angling for conviction on two of the felony counts.

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Constand had testified that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her at his mansion in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. She claimed Cosby gave her wine and three pills, causing her to pass out, and then “sexually violated” her.

Cosby, a beloved TV star once hailed as “America’s Dad,” publicly denied the allegations, calling the sexual encounter consensual, but declined to testify in his own defense at trial.

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He is charged with three counts of felony sexual assault and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

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