Thursday, 31 December 2015

Bill Cosby's Lawyer Says He Is Not Guilty and Will Address Claims When a Court Decides "He's Free to Speak"

Bill Cosby's lead attorney, Monique Pressley, appeared on NBC's Today Thursday to address the felony sexual assault charge filed against the 78-year-old comedian Wednesday. "I can't testify, really, about his state of mind, personally," Pressley told Savannah Guthrie via satellite. "He's been accused unjustly of a crime so certainly that's upsetting, but he's in good spirits and he knows that he has a legal team that is intent on defending him until he is exonerated."

In her 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 plans. The affidavit says that during the visit, the comedian gave Constand pills, which left her feeling "frozen" and "paralyzed," during which time she was sexually molested by Cosby. The TV star was charged Wednesday with aggravated indecent assault, a felony of the second-degree. He is currently free on bail after submitting his passport and paying 10 percent in cash of a $1 million bail. A preliminary hearing has been 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.

Cosby, however, insists that the sexual contact was consensual. "We're focused on getting to the facts in this very old case that was once decided, such that the former D.A. 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 the center, we are back again," Pressley told Guthrie. Asked if Cosby would consider accepting a plea agreement if offered, his attorney said, "My client is not guilty and there will be no consideration on our part of any sort of arrangement."


Pressley believes Cosby will be exonerated when the case goes to trial, despite the fact that more than 55 women have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct on Cosby's behalf. "The court of law doesn't run like the media does, for example, in that any person who has a picture or a story or something that they like to say, if they're saying it about the right person—and Bill Cosby is the right person to say something about—then they can air that grievance and have been doing so for the past year," she said on Today Thursday. "But in a court of law, there's a system of laws and rules that judges follow, and I have confidence in that system of justice. And as I've said in any number of interviews on this network and elsewhere, I believe when you separate what happens in the court of law from what has been allowed to happen in the fictional court of public opinion, you will get an outcome that justice requires."

"If you look at the deposition itself, which now is out there—wasn't supposed to be, but is—then you'll see that there's no admission of criminal wrongdoing with respect to Mr. Cosby," she said of the leaked documents. "There's detailed testimony about this incident and others."

Why has Cosby remained silent? "My client is still bound by a confidentially agreement in this case, even though the district attorney's office has pressed charges, even though the person who brought the civil suit apparently is voluntarily cooperating. We still have to toe the line until a court tells us that we're free to speak," Pressley said. "So, I'm sure that in the court documents for this case, once we are allowed to say what needs to be said, everything will be made clear."

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