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Bill Cosby defence team alleges discrimination in jury selection


Yesterday, reports indicated that the jury selection for Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial had been stalled amid some racial slurs uttered by one of the prosecutors.

Cosby faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Constand, who accused the 80-year-old of drugging and molesting her at his home in 2004.

Court will resume Thursday to pick six alternative jurors.

Two black men, a black woman, a white woman and a white man are the five alternate jurors picked without incident Thursday after an earlier showdown over the jury's racial makeup.

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 on Tuesday, and scores of potential jurors were sent home because they said they had already formed an opinion about the former TV star's guilt or innocence. Most of the dozen are middle aged, with the exception of one man in his 20s, as well as two women who appear to be in their 60s.

O'Neill called the jury-selection process "long and arduous".

Castor claimed Constand and her lawyers harmed his reputation and cost him a chance to return as district attorney by criticizing him and suing him for defamation days before the 2015 election. The judge also helped the defence case by ruling that jurors can hear how much Cosby paid the accuser, Andrea Constand, in a 2006 civil settlement. The defense complained "she keeps changing her answers".

The first juror has been seated in Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial.

Two of the people who made the cut said they had no knowledge of the Cosby case.




Those witnesses are expected to testify about similar alleged sexual assaults as prosecutors try to show that Cosby engaged in a pattern of misconduct. One juror said the panel was split 10-2 in favor of conviction, while another said the group was more evenly divided.

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

When Bliss made her argument, citing previous case laws, she concluded by saying that after the juror had been dismissed, a member of the defense team heard a member of the prosecution make a remark indicative of racism.

Jury selection in Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial has been halted as the comedian's lawyers challenge the prosecution's decision to exclude a black woman from the jury.

Cosby, once revered as "America's Dad" for his family sitcom "The Cosby Show", says the encounter was consensual.

It's illegal for either side to use peremptory challenges - their chances to reject a potential juror without giving a reason - to keep someone off a jury exclusively on the basis of race, ethnicity or gender.

Montgomery County President Judge Thomas DelRicci agreed Wednesday to move the camera to the back of the courtroom so the media can see the potential jurors.

O'Neill ruled Tuesday that Marguerite Jackson, a former Temple University staffer who claimed Constand told her she could lie about a sex assault story to get money, can testify at the retrial, giving Cosby's defense team a boost. Constand's lawyer has said Jackson isn't telling the truth.

The Associated Press doesn't typically identify people who say they're victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

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