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Bill Cosby's attorney: 'My client is not guilty. This is a game of political football'

Monique Pressley, Bill Cosby’s attorney, said he has been “unjustly” accused of a crime.

Bill Cosby This booking photograph released by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office shows Bill Cosby, who was arrested and charged yesterday. Source: AP

“MY CLIENT IS not guilty.” Those were the words of Monique Pressley, Bill Cosby’s attorney who was speaking to Savannah Guthrie on the TODAY programme in the US this morning.

Pressley said her client had been “unjustly” accused of a crime, but said he was in “good spirits” under the circumstances.

Yesterday, Cosby was charged with sexually assaulting a woman at his home 12 years ago. This is the first criminal charges brought against the comedian out of the torrent of allegations that destroyed his good-guy image as America’s Dad.

Prosecutors armed with new evidence this year believe his accuser, Andrea Constand, was too impaired by the pills and wine Cosby gave her to consent to the sexual activity that followed at his home.

Cosby gave a deposition after the woman sued him in 2005. He said she never told him to stop. But police now say that’s because she was “frozen,” ”paralyzed,” and “in and out of consciousness.”

lawyer Monique Pressley Source: TODAY/Screengrab

“On the evening in question, Mr. Cosby urged her to take pills that he provided, and to drink wine, the effect of which rendered her unable to move or to respond to his advances,” incoming Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said at a news conference Wednesday morning.

Prosecutors said Cosby gave Constand pills and wine, then penetrated her with his fingers without her consent while she was impaired, unable to resist or cry out.

In court papers, they said Constand was given the cold medicine Benadryl or some other, unidentified substance. Steele noted that Cosby has admitted giving quaaludes to women he wanted to have sex with.

Hollywood trial 

The case sets the stage for a massive Hollywood celebrity trial, which could send the 78-year-old Cosby to prison for up to ten years.

Cosby was released from custody yesterday when he posted $1 million bail bond.

His attorney, Pressley said this morning that his legal team will defend their client until he is completely exonoratioed.

“We are focused on getting to the facts in this very old case,” she said.

BILL COSBY-EL ENCUENTRO Bill Cosby and Andrea Constand/ Source: AP

She was highly critical of the District Attorney’s office, who she claimed had looked at the case some years back and decided that there was not enough evidence to proceed.

The then-District Attorney Bruce Castor declined to charge Cosby, saying at the time that the comedian and his accuser could be portrayed in “a less than flattering light.”

Constand eventually settled a lawsuit against Cosby in 2006 on confidential terms.

“Now through a game of political football, where my client’s life is at the centre, we are back again,” said Pressley.

Critical of DA

Cosby’s lawyer noted pointedly that the charges come “on the heels of a hotly contested election” for DA in which the handling of the Cosby case became a major issue. Castor was seeking to reclaim his job as DA, but lost to Steele.

Pressley said the DA was “highly motivated” to see this case come to fruition, stating that he had made campaign promises to do so.

When asked if Cosby’s deposition, taken back in 2005, had come back to bite the actor, Pressley said it had not.

“It is the DA office that has come back to bite them,” she said, adding that it was their office who made the decision that there was not enough sufficient evidence.

Bill Cosby Source: AP

“In the deposition itself, you will see there is no admission of criminal wrongdoing.”

She said prosecutors in the case were relying on a set of weak allegations, adding that a court does not run like the media does.

She said everything will be made clear once they are allowed to speak.

A key question if the Pennsylvania case goes to trial is whether the judge will allow testimony from some of those other accusers to show a pattern of “bad acts.” The judge could decide such testimony would be unfair to Cosby.

Constand’s allegations and similar ones from other women in the years that followed did not receive wide attention at the time, but exploded into view in late 2014, first online, then in the wider media, after comedian Hannibal Buress mocked the moralising Cosby as a hypocrite and called him a rapist during a standup routine.

That opened the floodgates to even more allegations.

The women were mostly from the world of modeling, acting or other entertainment fields, and Cosby or his representatives denied any wrongdoing, accusing some of them of trying to extract money from him or get ahead in show business.

Additional reporting Associated Press. Comments have been disabled on this article due to legal reasons.

Read: Bill Cosby released on $1 million bail following sexual assault charges>

Read: Bill Cosby sues women who accused him of rape>

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