Bill Cosby‘s lawyer released a statement to Us Weekly on Wednesday, December 30, after the comedian was arraigned in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, on a second-degree felony charge of aggravated indecent assault by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.
The statement from Washington, D.C.-based attorney Monique Pressley calls the charge against him “unjustified” and accuses the DA’s office of using his celebrity to set a platform for an upcoming election.
“The charge by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office came as no surprise,” the statement to Us read. “Filed 12 years after the alleged incident and coming on the heels of a hotly contested election for this county’s DA during which this case was made the focal point. Make no mistake, 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.”
Cosby, 78, was formally charged on Wednesday in the 2004 case of former Temple University staffer Andrea Constand, who accused the comedian of allegedly drugging and assaulting her more than a decade ago when he was her mentor.
The case falls within the state of Pennsylvania’s 12-year statute of limitations, which First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele discussed in the press conference on Wednesday. “Reopening the case was not a question,” Steele told reporters. “Rather, reopening this case was our duty.”
Constand, via her lawyers, reacted to the charges on Wednesday afternoon. “We have the utmost confidence in [First Assistant District Attorney] Mr. [Kevin] Steele, Ms. Feden and their team, who have impressed us with their professionalism,” the statement, released via her attorney Dolores Troiani, read. “In that this matter is now being pursued in the criminal justice system, we will not comment further.”
Cosby arrived at the courthouse on Wednesday afternoon clutching a cane and linking arms with two handlers. He posted 10 percent of his $1 million bail, turned over his passport and took his mug shot. In the photo, the comedian, clad in a gray sweater, stares down the camera with a solemn expression.
Earlier this month, Cosby’s lawyer filed a defamation lawsuit on his behalf against seven of his accusers on grounds of “their malicious, opportunistic, false, and defamatory accusations of sexual misconduct against him.”
A preliminary hearing will take place on January 14, 2016.
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