Saturday, June 3, 2017

Bill Cosby's Defense Team Grows As Trial Nears

Just days before his sexual assault trial begins in Montgomery County, entertainer Bill Cosby has added two more California lawyers to assist his defense team.

Lead local lawyer Brian J. McMonagle filed petitions in county court on Friday asking a judge to allow lawyers Delilah G. Vinzon and Ryan D. Austin, each of Los Angeles, to be admitted  “for the limited purpose of assisting in the representation” of Cosby.  

Vinzon is a partner in the Law Firm of Liner, LLP, in Los Angeles, while Austin is an associate in the firm, according to court documents.

Under Pennsylvania Bar Admission Rules, lawyers or advocates who are qualified to practice in the courts of another state may be “specially admitted to the Bar of this Commonwealth for purposes limited to a particular matter,” according to court documents filed by McMonagle.

Defense Lawyer Brian J. McMonagle/Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.
“Here there is no good cause for denial of the special admission of (Vinzon and Austin) to the Bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” McMonagle wrote.

Judge Steven T. O’Neill, who is presiding over the trial, granted McMonagle’s requests on Friday.

Vinzon, who was admitted to the California Bar in 2002, and Austin, who was admitted to the California Bar in 2012, are associated with the same law firm in which lawyer Angela C. Agrusa is a partner. Agrusa joined the Cosby defense team as co-counsel with McMonagle last October.

Even though the judge granted the special admissions, “Mr. McMonagle remains the attorney of record in this case…,” court papers spell out.

Bill Cosby Leaves MontcoPa Court/Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.
Cosby’s trial gets under way on Monday morning.

William Henry Cosby Jr., as his name appears on charging documents,  faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault in connection with allegations he had inappropriate sexual contact with Andrea Constand, a former Temple University athletic department employee, at his home along New Second Street in Cheltenham after plying her with blue pills and wine sometime between mid-January and mid-February 2004.

The charges were lodged against Cosby on Dec. 30, 2015, before the 12-year statute of limitations to file charges expired.

If convicted of the charges at trial, Cosby, an entertainment icon who remains free on 10 percent of $1 million bail, faces a possible maximum sentence of 15 to 30 years in prison.

Once the trial begins, I’ll have daily reports for Digital First Media publications. You can also find breaking Cosby news by following @MontcoCourtNews on Twitter.

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