Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Cosby Arrives For 1st Day Of Jury Selection In Retrial

Bill Cosby arrives for first day of jury selection in sexual assault retrial Jury is being picked for Bill Cosby's new trial amid the #MeToo movement
Ella Tate | 04 April, 2018, 02:06

Another group of 120 potential jurors also is being brought in, in case they do not make the cut. More than half said they already had made up their minds about Cosby, and all of them were dismissed. Nearly half of the jurors noted they would be more likely to believe police.

All but about 20 people in Tuesday's group begged off the case, saying it'd be a hardship to serve.

Cosby's second trial, scheduled to start next week, will be the first high-profile sexual assault trial of the #MeToo era. Eleven slots remain to be filled, counting alternates.

O'Neill also hinted during a pretrial hearing last week that he might keep jurors from hearing Cosby's prior testimony in a deposition about giving quaaludes to women before sex.

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.

Jackson's claims initially came to light mid-trial at Cosby's first trial last June.

At the time, the judge barred her from taking the stand after Constand denied knowing her.

The judge also made a ruling that settlement negotiations between Constand and Cosby, 80, can not be used as evidence in the case - in which she accuses the comedian of drugging and molesting her more than a decade ago.

Jackson's availability as a witness for Cosby could be crucial to a defence plan to attack Constand's credibility. The accuser's attorney says that the woman, Marguerite Jackson, is "not telling the truth".

Constand, a former Temple University athletic department employee, accused Cosby of having inappropriate sexual contact with her at his Cheltenham home after plying her with blue pills and wine sometime between January and February 2004. He says the encounter was consensual.

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At a hearing last month, Cosby lawyer Becky James argued it would be hard to find an impartial jury in this climate: "There's no way we will get a jury that hasn't heard these allegations against not just Mr. Cosby but many other celebrities". For the retrial, O'Neill has ruled jurors can hear from five additional accusers, giving prosecutors a chance to portray Cosby as a serial predator.

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

According to Page Six, a total of 92 potential jurors were tossed by both sides, including a woman who said she and a close family member were victims of sexual assault.

As Cosby and his spokesman Andrew Wyatt entered the Montgomery County Courthouse on Tuesday morning, a reporter asked what the entertainer's thoughts were going into the day's happenings.

Bill Cosby, the American comedian, who fell from grace with many other talented men in the entertainment industry in 2017, is facing a retrial in the charges brought against him by a Canadian woman.

Cosby's lawyers had also used two strikes, both to block white women from serving.

Also Tuesday, O'Neill ruled that lawyers may not mention at trial the pending lawsuits between Constand and Bruce L. Castor Jr., the former district attorney who declined to file charges against Cosby in 2005.

As jury selection proceeded, The Associated Press and other news organizations challenged an arrangement that forces reporters to watch the proceedings on a closed-circuit feed from another courtroom.

Just one juror was seated as jury selection began on Monday.

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.

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