Disgraced comedian Bill Cosby and his wife Camille released a scathing statement, rebuking Judge Steven O’Neill in the ongoing battle to appeal his criminal conviction.
O’Neill, who presided over Cosby’s two sexual assault trials, wrote in a lengthy brief filed Tuesday that he let five other accusers testify at the 2018 trial because their accounts had “chilling similarities” that pointed to a “signature” crime.
Cosby began serving a three- to 10-year prison term in September at a state prison near Philadelphia.
The Cosbys stood together in their denunciation of the judge.
Camille said in the statement, sent to USA TODAY by Cosby's spokesperson Andrew Wyatt, that the judge "tried to turn Bill Cosby into one of the most insidious stereotypes of African American men."
“Now, after more than 50 years of work, that humanized the dehumanized; which also challenged the perpetual architects of racist, exploitive and greedy maneuvers that have enabled them to divide and conquer … my husband has been severely redefined by Judge O’Neill, despite having zero proof.”
“I stand firmly with my wife on the foundation of solidarity and truth,” the disgraced actor/comedian added. “Camille has always been a fearless warrior against corruption and bigotry. She’s not afraid of this unethical judge, nor am I afraid of O’Neill’s grossly immoral tactics. Keep fighting...Dear...I Love You Very, Very Much."
Wyatt, in a statement, said O’Neill has a "habit of always trying to cover his many errors, which continues to show his hatred towards Mr. Cosby.”
The Cosbys have issued prior scathing statements, separately and jointly, on multiple occasions since the deluge of allegations of sexual misconduct against Cosby began in the fall of 2014. Since his conviction, Cosby has attacked Judge O'Neill repeatedly, sometimes in venomous terms.
Cosby is appealing his conviction on three counts of drugging and molesting a woman in his home in suburban Philadelphia in 2004. He has argued in recent filings that his appeal has been held up by O'Neill's delay in explaining his sentence as required by Pennsylvania law.
Now O'Neill has delivered his 143-page brief, a thorough rejection of each one of Cosby's legal arguments that his trials were flawed, his conviction should be overturned and his sentence was unfair and he should be allowed out of prison on bail.
One of the key appellate issues in Cosby's case is the difference between Cosby's first trial, which ended in a hung jury, and his second, which ended in his conviction.
In the first trial, O'Neill allowed one other accuser to testify about alleged "prior bad acts" by Cosby that fit a pattern of alleged behavior. In the second trial, he allowed five accusers to testify but did not explain at the time why he changed his mind.
In his brief, O'Neill said the new defense team that handled Cosby's second trial never directly challenged him on the difference in his rulings about the other accusers' testimony. At any rate, he said, judges are not bound by their prior decisions.
Contributing: Maria Puente, The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bill and Camille Cosby slam judge in scathing statement