Gene J. Puskar/ AP Bill Cosby shows up for jury choice in his sexual assault case at the Allegheny County Court house, Monday, May 22, 2017, in Pittsburgh. The case is set for trial June 5 in rural Philadelphia.
Monday, May 22, 2017|1:40 p.m.
PITTSBURGH– The panel that will decide Costs Cosby’s fate in his sex assault trial started to take shape Monday with the selection of three jurors, 2 white men and one white lady.
The search for 12 jurors and six alternates was expected to take numerous days. Specialists believe legal representatives on both sides will be considering race, sex, age, occupation and interests of possible jurors.
The actor-comedian once referred to as America’s Papa for his portrayal of Dr. Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Program” is charged with drugging and molesting a Temple University women’s basketball team manager at his home near Philadelphia in 2004. He calls their encounter consensual.
Lots of other females have actually also made comparable accusations versus Cosby, and the judge is permitting only one of them to affirm at the June 5 trial in suburban Philadelphia. The jury from Pittsburgh will be sequestered almost 300 miles from house.
Cosby has stated he believes race “might be” an inspiring consider the accusations lodged against him.
The jurors’ names, ages and professions were being kept personal from reporters. 2 of the jurors chosen Monday appear to be in their 50s, while one man appears to be in his 20s or early 30s.
Both guys say they or somebody close to them has actually been sexually assaulted, however they insisted they could set that aside to relatively evaluate the case.
One-third of the prospective jurors questioned Monday stated they have actually formed opinions about Cosby’s guilt or innocence, while the majority stated it would be difficult to spend several weeks sequestered throughout the state. And 35 of the 100 individuals questioned said they or a relative or friend has actually been the victim of a sexual assault.
The case versus Cosby has actually attracted worldwide publicity that the judge intends to shield from jurors throughout the trial.
“Nobody must make an effort to be on this jury, and nobody needs to make an effort to not be on this jury,” Judge Steven T. O’Neill told the group.
Cosby, who went into the courtroom on the arm of an aide, using a walking stick and bring a box of tissues, consulted his 3 lawyers at the defense table.
Lead attorney Brian McMonagle had earlier stated he hoped an unbiased jury might be discovered relatively rapidly. He stated Cosby was “looking forward” to obtaining the process started. Cosby has stated he does not anticipate to affirm.
The defense had actually utilized four strikes to keep someone off the jury by Monday afternoon, while the prosecution had not used any. Each side can strike 7 individuals from the jury and three alternates.
The trial will happen in Norristown in Montgomery County, where Cosby had invited Andrea Constand to his home in 2004. She stated she went seeking career advice as she thought about leaving her job managing the females’s basketball team at Temple University. She stated Cosby provided her wine and tablets that put her in a stupor before molesting her on his sofa.
Constand was 30 and dating a woman at the time, while Cosby was 66 and long wed to better half Camille. Cosby in sworn testament has actually said he put his by far Constand’s pants, however said she did not protest.
The Associated Press doesn’t usually identify people who state they are the victims of sexual attack unless they come forward, as Constand has actually done.
The judge prepares to bring 100 potential jurors to the court house every day this week till a panel is picked. The very first group consisted of 53 females and 47 males, with 16 people of color.
Cosby was arrested Dec. 30, 2015, days prior to the 12-year statute of constraints ended. He has actually pleaded not guilty and stays complimentary on $1 million bail.
He told a talk program host last week that he wishes to beat back the charges and resume his career.
“I desire individuals to comprehend my work as an artist and a performer,” he stated. “I want to get back to the laughter and the satisfaction of things that I’ve composed and things that I carry out on stage.”
Dale reported from Philadelphia.