The Montgomery County judge who denied Bill Cosby's motion to dismiss the sex assault charges against him says Cosby shouldn't be allowed to appeal his ruling.
The issues Cosby has asked a higher court to consider "do not involve questions of basic human rights and are not issues of great public importance," Judge Steven T. O'Neill wrote in an opinion filed Wednesday.
O'Neill laid out his argument as he, Cosby and prosecutors wait for Pennsylvania Superior Court to decide if it will hear the appeal, a step that would almost certainly delay the entertainer's criminal case.
A preliminary evidentiary hearing is scheduled for March 8.
If the higher court accepts the Cosby appeal, O'Neill wrote, he would like an opportunity to submit a "substantive opinion" explaining the ruling he made this month.
After a two-day hearing but with little explanation, the judge rejected arguments from Cosby's defense that a "non-prosecution agreement" between Cosby's past lawyer and former District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. barred the comedian from charges over the assault allegations Andrea Constand leveled in 2005.
In his filing, O'Neill said Cosby could still raise the issue before trial with a motion to exclude testimony from a civil deposition he gave in a lawsuit from Constand.
The release of that 2006 deposition last summer led Montgomery County prosecutors to re-open their decade-old criminal investigation.
The judge said the entertainer could argue that his deposition cannot be used as criminal evidence because he gave it under the belief he would not be prosecuted.
"Not only will his claims not be lost," O'Neill wrote, "they will also be subject to further review by this court even before review by appellate courts if he is ultimately convicted."