Bill Cosby’s lawyer has claimed that the sexual assault case against the comedian was politically motivated, brought by a newly-elected district attorney to make good on a campaign pledge.
“What we have is not the effectuation of justice. What we have is the fulfilment of a campaign promise,” Monique Pressley said on ABC’s Good Morning America.
District attorney-elect, Kevin R Steele, was not available for comment, his office said.
Cosby, 78, was charged on Wednesday with drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home, 12 years ago.
He could be sent to prison for up to a decade. He was released on €1m bail.
The case is the first time Cosby has been charged with a sex crime, after decades of allegations from dozens of women, who say they were drugged and violated by the TV star.
He is accused of plying former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand, with wine and pills — perhaps Benadryl, perhaps quaaludes, prosecutors suggested — and then penetrating her with his fingers, while she was unable to move or protest.
Cosby’s lawyer disputed the charges, saying Cosby and his accuser had a “consensual adult relationship”.
The decision to prosecute came just days before Pennsylvania’s 12-year statute of limitations for bringing charges was about to run out.
It represents an about-face by the district attorney’s office, which, under Bruce Castor, declined to charge Cosby in 2005, when Ms Constand first went to police.
Mr Castor tried to reclaim his job as district attorney in the November election, but lost to Mr Steele in a hotly-contested race in which the Cosby case played a central role.
Mr Steele — who takes over next week — attacked Mr Castor during the campaign for not prosecuting Cosby, running an ad that said: “Bruce Castor was not looking out for the victims.”
But Mr Steele never said what he would do if he were elected. After the charges came down, Cosby’s lawyer accused Mr Steele of “playing political football” with Cosby’s life.
She told morning network shows that Mr Steele had made a promise and had to make good on it before the statute of limitations ran out.
Prosecutors reopened the case over the summer, after damaging evidence from Mr Constand’s lawsuit against Cosby was unsealed by a judge.
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