Montgomery County

Cosby's Lawyer Says Criminal Charges Are ‘Political Football'

A day after Bill Cosby was charged with aggravated assault in Montgomery County, one of the comedian’s attorneys is claiming that the criminal charges are political.

“He's fulfilling a campaign promise,” Cosby attorney Monique Pressley said of the newly elected Montgomery County District Attorney on NBC’s Today show Thursday. “He’s not necessarily interested in affecting justice.”

Before Cosby was charged, he was the centerpiece of Montco DA-elect Kevin Steele’s campaign. Steele’s television ads and public statements were critical of his opponent for passing on the Cosby case.

One television ad described Steele’s opponent, Bruce Castor, as “a former DA who refused to prosecute Bill Cosby.”

The aggravated indecent assault charges filed against Cosby stem from an early 2004 incident, according to court records. The records say Cosby drugged and assaulted a Temple University employee in his Montgomery County home. The charges come months before the statute of limitations was set to expire in the case.

“The former DA said there was no need to go further and said 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,” Cosby’s attorney said on the Today show.

The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office said no one was available Thursday to comment on allegations that the Cosby charges are political. At a news conference Wednesday, Steele said new information came to light in July when depositions in civil lawsuits against Cosby became public.

“A prosecutor's job is to follow the evidence wherever it takes us, and sometimes that means whenever it comes to light,” Steele said at Wednesday’s news conference. “I’m not going to look at the past or actions that weren’t taken at that point. It’s not a time to Monday morning quarterback.”

Cosby and his lawyers promise a vigorous defense and deny all claims against him. On the Today show, his attorney said they are not interested in a plea deal.

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