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Bill Cosby sex attack case is political, says lawyer

By PA Reporters

Published 01/01/2016

Accused: Bill Cosby
Accused: Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby's lawyer has claimed that the sexual assault case against the comedian is politically motivated and brought by a newly-elected district attorney to make good on a campaign vow.

"What we have is not the effectuation of justice," Monique Pressley said. "It is the fulfilment of a campaign promise,"

District attorney-elect Kevin Steele was not immediately 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 in a case that could see him sent to prison for up to a decade.

He was released on $1 million (£678,000) bail.

The case marks 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 sexually assaulting her 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 going to run out.

It represents an about-face by the district attorney's office, which under then-district attorney 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 he lost to Mr Steele in a hotly contested race in which the Cosby case played a central role.

Cosby's lawyer accused Mr Steele of "playing political football" with Cosby's life.

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