Bill Cosby’s lawyer, Monique Pressley, was in full damage control mode during her appearance Friday on HuffPost Live with Marc Lamont Hill, following the publication of New York magazine’s viral cover featuring the photos of 35 women who have publicly accused the comedian of rape and/or sexual assault.
Pressley focused on the legal implications of the allegations by those 35 women, arguing they could not be proven in a court of law.
Pressley told Hill:
I believe people are innocent until they’re proven guilty. And if you can’t prove them guilty in a court through prosecution then you don’t get the option of persecution instead. I don’t think that 10, 20, 30, 40 years later people get to decide to come forward when there is no opportunity – not just for Mr. Cosby to offer a defense for a criminal prosecution – there’s no opportunity for an alleged victim, an accuser, to prove up what actually happened.
She said women have a “responsibility” to come forward as soon as possible if they want justice they seek and deserve.
The only way for a woman to get the justice that she seeks — and that, if her allegation is true, that she deserves — is to come forward [soon after the crime]. And even if the reasons that the women did not do that are legitimate ones, what cannot happen – in my opinion, in the United States – is that 40 years later there is a persecution tantamount to a witch hunt where there was no prosecution timely and there was no civil suit timely.
She also said the comedian did nothing to prevent these women from coming forward when the alleged incidences of rape and/or sexual assault and/or drugging occurred.
“There’s not any testimony or any accusation from any of these women that Mr. Cosby in any way bound them, gagged them, prevented them from coming forward and saying whatever their truth was at the time,” she said. “That’s not what happened.”
While she said she understands the emotional response, Pressley said the legal aspects have always been very clear to her.
“To me, this case has always been, very clear from the beginning on the legal issues,” she said. “I understand why people … have different guttural reactions, but for me as an attorney, it’s very clear.”
Watch the full interview below: