The judge in Bill Cosby’s criminal sex assault case expects the trial to last about two weeks and hopes to seat a jury before the proceeding opens June 5 in suburban Philadelphia, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
During the pretrial hearing Monday (April 3), Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill said he hopes to pick jurors in late May, and insisted the jurors’ names will not be made public.
The jurors will come from the Pittsburgh area and be sequestered throughout the trial nearly 300 miles away in Norristown.
Cosby, 79, is accused of drugging and molesting Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his home in 2004. He faces 10 years in prison if convicted on felony sex assault charges. Cosby has pleaded not guilty and remains free on $1 million bail. He calls the encounter with Constand consensual.
The defense had hoped the Allegheny County jury pool would be prescreened through a written questionnaire on their background, media habits and feelings about Cosby, given widespread media reports.
“You cannot walk into a grocery store, a convenience store, a minimart, without seeing (tabloid reports) … calling him a rapist,” defense lawyer Angela Agrusa argued Monday.
But O’Neill predicted that questionnaires mailed to peoples’ homes would quickly end up on social media, and he expressed concern that family members or friends could influence the answers.
(Photo Source: AP)