LOS ANGELES—Responding to recent allegations that his client sexually assaulted as many as 20 women over the course of his career, an attorney for comedian Bill Cosby asked Wednesday why none of the alleged victims came forward and allowed themselves to be smeared by the entertainer’s powerful attorneys years ago. “One has to wonder why all these claims are being made now, when these women very easily could have spoken up 40 years ago and had my client’s legal team ruin them,” said Cosby lawyer Martin Singer, suggesting that if the assertions were indeed true, the purported victims have had more than ample time to let Cosby’s team of high-priced legal advisors assassinate their character and threaten them with countersuits for defamation. “It’s highly suspect that these women didn’t go public decades ago, when Mr. Cosby could have used his considerable influence to sabotage any chance these women had at a career in show business and obliterate their credibility in media outlets that were utterly smitten with him.” Singer went on to say that he wouldn’t be surprised if other alleged victims surfaced, even though there wasn’t much left that could be done to destroy them.