Monique Pressley, the lawyer defending Bill Cosby against the first criminal charges filed against him, told Today that she and her team would accept nothing less than a full exoneration for the 78-year-old comedian.
Cosby was arraigned Wednesday on charges of aggravated indecent assault; he could face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.
Speaking to Savannah Guthrie on Thursday, Pressley maintained Cosby’s innocence and said the comedian’s defense team would not consider any kind of plea deal.
“We’re focused to getting to the facts in this very old case that was once decided — such that the former DA said there was no need to go further and that it belonged in the civil courts — and now, through a game of political football at which my client’s life is at the center, we’re back again,” Pressley said.
This past fall, the allegations against Cosby became the focus of a DA race in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The election pit the former DA, Bruce Castor — the man who in 2005 announced he would not pursue charges against Cosby based on Andrea Constand’s allegations of assault — against Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele.
By bringing charges against Cosby now, Pressley said, District Attorney-elect Kevin Steele was just “fulfilling a campaign promise, [and] not necessarily interested in effectuating justice.”
Constand, the former director of operations for Temple University’s women’s basketball team, told police in 2005 that Cosby cultivated a mentor relationship with her and that she came to his home the night of her assault seeking career advice.
Instead of advice, she said he offered her three blue pills to help her relax. When the pills allegedly rendered her unable to move, she later told police, Cosby sexually assaulted her.
Pressley said on Today that she and Cosby were both still bound by a confidentiality agreement agreed to in the civil suit he settled with Constand in October 2006 after Castor declined to press charges.
Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents 29 women who have come forward to publicly accuse Cosby of sexual assault, told Today‘s Craig Melvin her clients were “very happy” that Constand will have her day in court.
Most, if not all, of her own clients, Allred said, were barred from pursuing a criminal case by the statute of limitations — “that arbitrary time limit set by law from having their cases prosecuted.”
Some of her clients could be called to testify in the case against Cosby, though, if the prosecutor finds the circumstances of their cases are similar enough to those Constand described in her affidavit. Allred said those victims were ready and willing to provide testimony “if their testimony would be considered relevant and admissible.”
At least 58 women total publicly accused Cosby of targeting them in incidents like the one Constand described to police. Allred says even more victims have contacted her.
“Even before the charges yesterday [there were victims], some of whom said they would be prepared to testify but just didn’t want to public before that time, and since yesterday I’ve had even more contacts from even more women,” Allred told the Today Show.
The first hearing in the case against Bill Cosby is set to take place on January 14th.