A second lawyer, meant to defend Bill Cosby in his upcoming sexual assault retrial, has withdrawn, leaving the 80-year-old without counsel.
This comes less than two weeks after Cosby’s lead lawyer, Brian McMonagle, filed his own motion to withdraw completely from the criminal retrial, and it forces Cosby to search for brand-new legal representation.
Los Angeles-based lawyer Angela Agrusa filed documents Tuesday seeking to withdraw as Cosby’s counsel in the criminal case. Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill previously set a hearing for Aug. 22 to discuss McMonagle’s request. Agrusa is asking to delay that hearing until Sept. 11. The filing also asked that Cosby be given a deadline of Sept. 11 to retain a new lawyer.
District Attorney Kevin Steele is asking the judge to deny that request, saying it delays justice. O’Neill has yet to rule.
Agrusa is staying on as Cosby’s civil lawyer, but seeks to be removed from the criminal trial proceedings.
“I will be naming our legal counsel at the end of the month,” confirmed Cosby’s spokesman, Andrew Wyatt. Agrusa has not made any public comments about her request for withdrawal.
Cosby is being retried on charges he drugged and molested Toronto woman Andrea Constand more than a decade ago. The original trial ended in a deadlocked jury, and Cosby claims any sexual activity between himself and Constand was consensual.
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The deadlock was a victory of sorts for the pioneering black comedian, now frail and isolated, who risked spending the rest of his life in prison if convicted.
But the trial has irrevocably damaged the once-towering icon of popular culture, loved by millions as “America’s Dad” and best known for his seminal role as a father and obstetrician on hit 1984-92 TV series The Cosby Show.
More than 60 women have publicly accused Cosby of being a serial sexual predator, but the trial was the only criminal case brought against Cosby, since most of the alleged abuse happened too long ago to prosecute.
— With files from The Associated Press