NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS Philly/AP) — The judge in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial will not recuse himself after lawyers for the comedian tried to pressure him to step aside when they lost their bid to overturn his ruling allowing up to five additional accusers to testify.

The defense first demanded Judge Steven O’Neill recuse himself last week, arguing in court papers that he could be seen as biased because his wife is a social worker who has described herself as an “advocate for assault victims.”

O’Neill told Cosby’s lawyers that he will not recuse himself.

The final pretrial hearing is taking place Thursday before the start of jury selection on Monday.

Cosby was escorted into the courthouse Thursday morning on the arm of his spokesman.

The 80-year-old Cosby has pleaded not guilty to charges he drugged and molested former Temple University athletics administrator Andrea Constand at his home in 2004.

O’Neill presided over Cosby’s first trial, which ended in a hung jury last year. The retrial could be delayed indefinitely if he bows out.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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