Bill Cosby parts ways with lawyers as sentencing looms

Bill Cosby, center, is lead away from the Montgomery County Courthouse by publicist Andrew Wyatt, left, and followed by his attorney Thomas Mesereau, right, after the first day of a pre-trial hearing for his second trial on sexual assault. Mesereau has left the case as Cosby awaits sentencing on three counts of aggravated indecent sexual assault.

Bill Cosby has replaced his lawyers.

As he awaits sentencing on sexual-assault charges, Cosby hired Joseph Green Jr., a criminal defense lawyer based in Chester County. Green filed court documents to enter his appearance in the case Thursday.

The legal team for his April trial — Los Angeles-based Tom Mesereau, Becky James, as well as Las Vegas lawyer Kathleen Bliss and Philadelphia lawyer Lane Vines — won’t represent him through sentencing, Cosby publicist Andrew Wyatt said Thursday.

Wyatt declined to comment on what or who prompted the change, as did Mesereau.

“I wish Mr. Cosby, his family, and his new legal team all the best,” Mesereau said in an interview Thursday. “I’m not answering any other questions about it.”

Green confirmed that he had joined the case but declined further comment Thursday.

Among Green’s notable cases was defending Chester County lawyer Edwin J. O’Brien III, who was sentenced to prison in 2016 for letting his father die by depriving him of medical care.

Cosby has been on house arrest at his home in Cheltenham since a Montgomery County jury found the 80-year-old guilty of drugging and molesting Andrea Constand. His sentencing is scheduled for September in Norristown before Judge Steven T. O’Neill. The entertainer could face up to 10 years in prison for each of three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

The change in lawyers marks the latest legal-team shake-up for Cosby; he parted ways with lawyers Brian McMonagle and Angela Agrusa after his first trial ended with a hung jury last year.

Nine main lawyers — along with several who worked behind the scenes — have come and gone from the case in the nearly 2½ years since he was charged, including Monique Pressley, the Washington-based lawyer who appeared on television to passionately defend him after his arrest, and Sam Silver, a Philadelphia-based lawyer who joined and left the criminal case between the first and second trials.