As Deadline reported several weeks ago, Bill Cosby has lost yet another lawyer as Brian McMonagle today made official his desire to depart the defense for the actor’s criminal case for the alleged 2004 rape of Andrea Constand.
With a mistrial declared on June 17 on the three felony charges of second-degree aggravated indecent assault that could see Cosby in jail for a decade if found guilty, a retrial has now been set to start on November 6 in Norristown, PA.
In paperwork filed Tuesday in Pennsylvania state court, the Philadelphia lawyer asked to be able to “withdrawal as counsel” to Cosby. “The defendant is taking necessary steps to secure new counsel,” McMonagle’s filing adds. “Defendant requests that he be given until August 21, 2017 to retain new counsel,” it goes on to state of Cosby, who has had local legal big shot McMonagle by his side since soon after the actor was arraigned December 30, 2015 in the criminal case and released on $1 million bail.
A hearing is set for August 22 on the motion along with other matters related to the case as it heads towards the retrial this fall. While no reason is given for the sharp tongued McMonagle’s departure, it is unusual in such cases for one attorney to ask to exit before a replacement has been named.
Reps for the 80-year-old Cosby had no comment on McMonagle’s exit but stated that LA-based Angela Agrusa is still on the defense team. The actor’s representatives also had no word on if Cosby’s announced town hall tour was actually going ahead or not.
Almost certain that his exit will go ahead and be approved by Judge Steven O’Neill later this month, McMonagle joins the likes of Marty Singer, who left his longtime client in October 2015 plus former Assistant U. S. Attorney Christopher Tayback and Washington D.C-based Monique Pressley as former members of the revolving door known as Team Cosby.
Accused by more than 60 women of sexually assaulting and drugging them over the decades, Cosby faces not only the criminal case in Pennsylvania, which has a much longer statute of limitations on sex crimes than most jurisdictions, but several other civil cases around the nation.
Despite admitting in depositions more than a decade ago to giving Constand Benadryl pills on the night of the alleged assault in his Philadelphia-area mansion, Cosby always has insisted that the encounter with the ex-Temple University employee was consensual. Constand and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office beg to differ, to put it mildly.