Cosby case now has seven jurors

Tonya Becker
April 4, 2018

Jackson's availability as a witness for Cosby could be crucial to a defence plan to attack Constand's credibility. Marguerite Jackson worked with the Temple University women's basketball team at the same time as Constand; her testimony was barred from Cosby's first trial. Judge O'Neill had deemed Jackson's testimony as hearsay in the first trial, but has now ruled to allow it.

What happened in the first trial: Constand testified, Cosby did not.

Philip K. Anthony, CEO of trial consultant firm DecisionQuest, said he has found jurors often don't know as much about newsy topics like the #MeToo movement as lawyers might anticipate.

Prospective jurors in the Bill Cosby sexual assault retrial have gathered in a suburban Philadelphia courthouse for the first day of jury selection.

Andrea Constand walks to the courtroom for Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial. Opening statements in his retrial on those charges are scheduled for April 9. More than 40 women have accused the 80 year old entertainer of sexual assault.

Cosby's lawyers complained that prosecutors had improperly excluded two white men from serving on the jury on the basis of race and age, including one who said he thought numerous women coming forward in the #MeToo movement are "jumping on the bandwagon".

They joined two middle-aged white women who also were picked Tuesday morning, and a white man in his 20s who was selected Monday.

Bill Cosby's retrial for sexual assault opened on Monday with juror selection, and so far, at least one jury member has been chosen, according to Page Six.

Almost everyone else in the initial jury pool of 120 suburban Philadelphia residents indicated they knew about the charges against Cosby - including the two women picked Tuesday.

Three-quarters of them were sent home as they said they already had formed an opinion about Cosby's guilt or innocence.

That leaves just 28 people invited back for individual questioning on Tuesday as prosecutors and Cosby's lawyers work to fill 17 remaining jury spots.

Prosecutors and the defence have begun the hard task of picking a jury for Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial today.

One potential juror who was questioned individually said that she could not set aside previous knowledge of this case and be a fair juror is selected.

Judge Steven O'Neill said Monday that Cosby's lawyers objected to the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association's request because they feared it could hurt their ability to find a fair and impartial jury.

Montgomery County President Judge Thomas DelRicci said Tuesday he would schedule a hearing on the news media's legal challenge.

He had heard of #MeToo, but was a rarity in that he expressed no knowledge of the allegations against the famed comedian, who is facing trial over an accusation he sexually assaulted former Temple employee Andrea Constand in 2004. He says the encounter was consensual.

"There may be a juror who says, 'I don't have an opinion about Cosby, but the #MeToo is very important to me, '" said Melissa M. Gomez, a jury expert and author of the book "Jury Trials Outside In".

All but 10 potential jurors knew some facts of the case, and all but one had heard about the #MeToo movement and celebrity sexual assaults. The camera shows the judge, prosecutors and defense lawyers, but not potential jurors who are being questioned as a group.

"When I saw that, I said really, the ground has really shifted", she added.

The former TV star once known as "America's Dad" for his portrayal of kindly Dr Cliff Huxtable on his NBC hit The Cosby Show was in the courtroom as jury selection got underway.

The newspaper does not normally identify victims of sex crimes without their consent but is using Constand's name because she has identified herself publicly.

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