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One of Bill Cosby's Defense Attorneys Asks to Withdraw From Sex Assault Case

Brian McMonagle, Cosby's lead defense attorney, has asked a judge for permission to withdraw from the Andrea Constand case, which is scheduled to be retried.
Image: Criminal charges against Bill Cosby in Pennsylvania
Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on June 15. FileTracie Van Auken / EPA file

One of Bill Cosby's lead defense attorneys has filed paperwork seeking to withdraw from the criminal case ahead of a planned retrial later this year, according to court documents.

Lawyer Brian McMonagle said in a court filing dated Tuesday that his client is taking necessary steps to secure new counsel. The filing does not list a reason for the request to withdraw as counsel.

The Montgomery County, Penn., district attorney’s office had no comment. An email sent to McMonagle Tuesday night was not immediately returned. Procedure usually calls for a new attorney to be hired and in place before an attorney can withdraw.

Cosby, 80, is charged with with drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his home in 2004 — the only criminal case stemming from dozens of accusations of sexual misconduct, all of which he vigorously denies.

In June, the first trial ended in a deadlocked jury and a mistrial was declared after jurors deliberated for more than 50 hours. Cosby himself did not testify at the trial, but his defense claimed the contact with Constand was consensual.

A pre-trial conference was set for Aug. 22 at 9 a.m. at the Montgomery County Courthouse on the request to withdraw as counsel and any other outstanding issues, according to court documents. A new trial date had been set for Nov. 6.