A lead attorney representing Bill Cosby said the felony sexual assault charge filed against the comedian Wednesday is the result of “political football.”
“My client is not guilty,” Monique Pressley told Savannah Guthrie on TODAY Thursday. “And there will be no consideration on our part of any sort of arrangement.”
Cosby was charged Wednesday with aggravated indecent assault, a felony of the second-degree. The embattled comedian is currently free on bail after having turned in his passport and paying 10 percent in cash of a $1 million bail.
A preliminary hearing was set for Jan. 14. If convicted of the felony charges, Cosby faces up to 10 years in jail and would have to register as a sex offender.
Pressley said Cosby has been “accused unjustly of a crime so that’s upsetting,” but that the comedian is in “good spirits” and “he knows that he has a legal team that’s intent on defending him until he’s exonerated.”
In the criminal affidavit, Andrea Constand said that while working as the director of Temple University’s women’s basketball team in 2004, she was invited to Cosby’s home to discuss her future. The affidavit says that during the visit, Cosby gave Constand pills, which left her feeling “frozen” and “paralyzed,” at which time she was sexually molested by Cosby. Cosby insists that the sexual contact was consensual.
“Upon examination of all of the evidence, today we are able to seek justice on behalf of Mr. Cosby’s victim,” Montgomery County District Attorney-elect Kevin Steele said in a news conference Wednesday.
Montgomery County prosecutors used Cosby’s own words from a 2005 deposition to bring about the charges filed Wednesday.
“If you look at the deposition you will see that there is no admission of criminal wrongdoing with respect to Mr. Cosby,” Pressley said.
Civil rights lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents 29 women who allege Cosby assaulted them, said that her clients are “very happy” that Constand will “have her day in court.”
“That’s so important because, for most of the many, many alleged victims that I represent, if not all, they are barred by that statute of limitations, by that arbitrary time limit set by law.”
Allred also said that many of the women she represents are prepared to testify in court if the prosecution calls on them.
“If in fact the prosecutor feels that some of the descriptions by my clients are the same or similar acts as are alleged in the charges against Mr. Cosby, many of my clients have already indicated that they will be prepared to testify in the criminal case if their testimony would be considered relevant and admissible,” she said.
In a statement given to NBC News, Cosby’s attorneys suggested the charges were motivated by local politics and “came as no surprise.”
“We intend to mount a vigorous defense against this unjustified charge and we expect that Mr. Cosby will be exonerated by a court of law.”
Fifty-seven women in total have accused Cosby of some form of sexual misconduct (not all the accusations are of sexual assault).
Cosby and his reps have repeatedly denied all allegations, even filing defamation lawsuits against nine of his accusers in recent weeks. Prior to Wednesday, Cosby had never been charged with any crime regarding the allegations.
This article first appeared on TODAY.com.