For months, it seemed like the renewed public scrutiny of sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby, made by dozens of women so far, might never actually make it in front of a jury. But on Tuesday, that all changed ― a Pennsylvania judge ordered Cosby to stand trial for his alleged 2004 sexual assault of former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, meaning the 78-year-old comedian will face his day in court. As such, you might be looking for some basic information before the trial gets started. For instance: who is Bill Cosby's defense lawyer?
If you've been following the case in the weeks and months leading up to the judge's order, then there's a pretty good chance you've heard of Cosby's lead defense attorney, the woman you'll be seeing splashed across your TV screens for the next several months. But if not, you should probably get acquainted: Cosby's defense attorney is Monique Pressley, the principal of Pressley Firm PLLC, as well as a frequent TV legal analyst. Pressley is a graduate of the historically black Howard University, and according to her website, she ultimately worked as an adjunct professor at the university for five years.
She's not the only person who'll be working in Cosby's defense, however ― he's also being represented by Brian McMonagle, a Philadelphia-based attorney who's previously represented the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Philadelphia during the Catholic Church's institution-wide sex abuse scandal.
As you can see in the video above, Pressley has been advocating publicly for her client for months, appearing on TV networks like CNN and ABC to mount an unapologetic and forceful defense. According to the AP's Maryclaire Dale, Pressley figures to be crucial to the defense's media strategy, serving as the public face of the defense, while McMonagle is expected to play a primary role in the trial proceedings.
Whatever you might think of Cosby and the countless allegations that have come out (of sexual assault and drugging as well as sexual harassment), he is constitutionally entitled to a vigorous defense, and it seems clear that that's exactly what his defense duo intend to provide.
If one thing's for sure, however, the pair won't have an easy job ahead of them. By virtue of Cosby's high-profile nature and the heinousness of his alleged crimes, there's a huge weight of public opinion on one side of this issue, and the sorts of legal tactics Pressley and McMonagle may end up having to employ probably won't win them many admirers ― namely trying to tear down Constand's story, wrecking her credibility sufficiently to let him walk. It's not exactly a new playbook, and it may seem inhumane, inflammatory, and anti-factual in the extreme, but you can already see it coming in this case.