Jury selected for Bill Cosby’s sex assault trial – Entertainment

Seven men and five women, including two black jurors, will determine comedian Bill Cosby’s fate at his upcoming sexual assault trial in Pennsylvania, after claims from his lawyers that race played a factor in their selection. 

Judge Steven O’Neill seated the 12th and final juror on Wednesday, along with six alternates, after three days of jury selection in Pittsburgh ahead of what will be the biggest celebrity trial in years. 

Cosby’s lawyers on Tuesday accused prosecutors of deliberately excluding black jurors, a charge that O’Neill rejected absent further evidence. Both sides were permitted to strike a certain number of jurors without explanation. 

Prosecutors said they removed a black woman on Tuesday because she was a former police detective once accused of falsifying records, not because of her race. 

Last week, Cosby suggested in a radio interview that he has been treated worse during the scandal due to racism. 

Cosby, 79, is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, a former basketball coach at his Temple University alma mater, at his home in 2004. Dozens of women have levelled similar accusations against him, though the Constand case is the only criminal prosecution. 

Cosby, whose family-friendly reputation is in tatters, has denied any wrongdoing. 

After the hearing, Cosby spoke briefly to reporters, thanking law enforcement as well as “all of the people who have come to see my shows whenever I appeared at Heinz Hall,” a nearby venue where he has done stand-up shows. His scheduled performance there in 2015 was canceled amid a cascade of sexual assault allegations. 

The trial is set to begin on June 5 in Norristown, a Philadelphia suburb. The jurors were drawn from the Pittsburgh area, about 480 km away, at the defence’s request due to extensive pretrial media coverage. They will be transported to the Norristown area and sequestered for what is expected to be a two- or three-week…

Read the full article from the Source…

Back to Top