Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Cosby judge rejects media request on jury pool

Bill Cosby arrives at court as sexual assault retrial begins Jury selection begins for Bill Cosby's second trial
Ivan Hill | 08 April, 2018, 01:28

Three of the jurors said they or a family member had been the victim of a sexual assault, but vowed that it would not affect their ability to be fair and impartial in Cosby's trial. The previous trial ended with a hung jury, which was unable to reach a verdict after six days of deliberation.

Constand's lawyer has said Marguerite Jackson isn't telling the truth.

O'Neill hinted at a pretrial hearing last week that he might keep jurors from hearing Cosby's testimony from a deposition in Constand's lawsuit about giving quaaludes to women before sex - another potential boon to the defense. He said he won't rule on that until it's brought up at the retrial. Cosby stumbled slightly getting out of an SUV and then put a hand up to say he was OK before walking into the courthouse.

One was seated Monday, and two more jurors were picked Tuesday. O'Neill ruled that the jury can hear testimony from a witness who claims they heard accuser Andrea Constand talk about framing a celebrity before coming forward with her allegations against Cosby in 2005.

The main panel appears to have 10 white and two black jurors.

Bill Cosby has left a suburban Philadelphia courthouse after jury selection in his sexual assault case wrapped up, thanking a woman who wished him good luck.

Bill Cosby's lawyers have scored a pair of rulings crucial to their strategy of painting his accuser as a money-grubbing liar as jury selection in his sexual assault retrial continues for a third day.

The battle over the juror's removal highlighted a vast racial disparity in the suburban Philadelphia jury pool that's limiting the number of black people available for consideration. In the first trial, they could only call one.

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Cosby was joined by his new attorney Thomas Mesereau, Jr - the lawyer who won an acquittal in Michael Jackson's child molestation case - and his law partner Kathleen Bliss. The black population in Montgomery County is about 9.6 percent black, according to the latest U.S. Census estimates. One juror said the panel was split 10-2 in favor of conviction, while another said the group was more evenly divided.

This time, though, the proceedings will unfold in a markedly different courtroom - and a different world.

Last year's panel included a man in his 80s who told reporters he was suspicious of Constand's story and suspected that "politics was involved" in reviving the decade-old case with "no stained clothing, no smoking gun, nothing".

Those witnesses are expected to testify about similar alleged sexual assaults as prosecutors try to show that Cosby engaged in a pattern of misconduct.

The 80-year-old Cosby is charged with drugging and molesting a former Temple University athletics administrator at his home in 2004. He said the encounter was consensual.

The defense wanted a man who said he thought numerous women coming forward in the #MeToo movement were "jumping on the bandwagon", but prosecutors used a challenge to send him home. The lone person who claimed ignorance on #MeToo was not invited back.

Bill Cosby's lawyers challenged the prosecution's exclusion of a black woman from serving on the jury at his sexual assault retrial, alleging on Wednesday (Thursday NZ Time) that the decision was made on the basis of her race.

In all, prosecutors and the defense removed a total of 91 potential jurors before breaking on Monday.

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