NORRISTOWN, Pennsylvania—Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill on Thursday denied two defense motions to recuse himself from presiding over Bill Cosby’s rape trial due to his wife’s work with sexual assault survivors.
Before announcing his decision, O’Neill passionately defended his spouse.
“She is an independent woman and has the right to be involved in anything she believes in,” he said during the first of two days of pre-trial motions hearings. “In the early years of our marriage she was dedicated to raising our children, then to raising herself up. It’s difficult to have her accomplishments trivialized.”
Dr. Deborah O’Neill is a psychotherapist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and coordinates a team that cares for and advocates for student sexual-assault survivors. She dedicated her dissertation on college-acquaintance rape to her husband, which the defense used to say claim had discussed sexual assault issues.
Her name was also on a $100 donation in February 2017 that ultimately went to Women Organized Against Rape, a group that recently said it would be staging a protest outside the courthouse during Cosby’s trial. CLICK FOR MORE