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PITTSBURGH (AP) — The panel that will decide Bill Cosby’s fate in his sex assault trial began to take shape Monday with the selection of five jurors, three white men and two white women.

The search for 12 jurors and six alternates got off to a brisk star, even though a third of the initial jury pool had an opinion about Cosby’s guilt or innocence and an equal number said they or someone close to them had been sexually assaulted. Lawyers on both sides are contemplating a person’s race, sex, age, occupation and interests as they weigh their likely sympathies, experts said.

“You’re looking for what people already believe,” said University of Pittsburgh School of Law professor David Harris. “People don’t take in new information and process it. They filter it into what they already know and think.”

The actor-comedian once known as America’s Dad for his portrayal of Dr. Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show” 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.

Dozens of other women have made similar accusations against Cosby, and the judge is allowing only one of them to testify at the June 5 trial in suburban Philadelphia. The jury from Pittsburgh will be sequestered nearly 300 miles from home.

Cosby, 79, has said he thinks race “could be” a motivating factor in the accusations lodged against him.

The jurors’ names, ages and occupations were being kept private. The oldest person chosen for the panel was perhaps in his 70s and, like Cosby, uses a cane. The youngest was a young man with a hipster style. He and a middle-aged man selected said they or someone close to them had been sexually assaulted, but they insisted they could judge the case fairly. That’s sometimes harder than it seems, one law professor said.

“Can we trust them (to be fair)? That’s really the question,” said Laurie Levenson, a Loyola Law School professor. “Sometimes it’s not so easy. It’s one thing to set aside intellectually what you know, but it’s another to set it aside emotionally.”

The case against Cosby has attracted worldwide publicity that the judge hopes to shield from jurors during the trial. More than 80 percent of Monday’s jury pool said they were familiar with the case, and two-thirds said it would be difficult to spend several weeks sequestered across the state. But not all of their hardship claims held up. Two people selected had initially voiced job concerns but later said they could serve.

“No one should make an effort to be on this jury, and no one should make an effort to not be on this jury,” Judge Steven T. O’Neill told the group.

Cosby arrived in court on the arm of an aide, using a cane and carrying a box of tissues, and frequently conferred with his three lawyers at the defense table.

Lead lawyer Brian McMonagle said Cosby was “looking forward” to getting the process started. However, Cosby has said he does not expect to testify.

The defense had used four strikes to keep someone off the jury by Monday afternoon, while the prosecution had used two. Each side can strike seven people from the jury and three alternates.

The trial will take place in Norristown in Montgomery County, where Cosby had invited Andrea Constand to his home in 2004. She said she went seeking career advice as she considered leaving her job managing the women’s basketball team at Temple University. She said Cosby gave her wine and pills that put her in a stupor before molesting her on his couch.

Constand was 30 and dating a woman at the time, while Cosby was 66 and long married to wife Camille. Cosby in sworn testimony has said he put his hand down Constand’s pants, but said she did not protest.

The Associated Press doesn’t typically identify people who say they are the victims of sexual assault unless they come forward, as Constand has done.

The first group of 100 potential jurors summoned Monday included 16 people of color. Forty-one of them will return Tuesday for further consideration before the judge, if necessary, calls in the next pool.

Cosby was arrested Dec. 30, 2015, days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired. He has pleaded not guilty and remains free on $1 million bail.

He told a talk show host last week that he hopes to beat back the charges and resume his career.

“I want people to understand my work as an artist and a performer,” he said. “I want to get back to the laughter and the enjoyment of things that I’ve written and things that I perform on stage.”

___

Dale reported from Philadelphia.

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21 thoughts on “Five Jurors Selected For Cosby Trial; Three White Men And Two White Women

  1. mr soul on said:

    He is going too jail only one black and living with that sick Trump What happen too that young black Female lawyer he has at the start ? Oh leave them white women alone that one looks like a men.

  2. Lovie Gaddis Mathis- Duncan on said:

    How in the hell did Woody Allen and Bill O’Rilley get off, while this man Dr. Bill Cosby is being CRUCIFIED?? Over 900 WHITE Supremacy Hate Groups actively serving in America, so whose surprised at an all White Jury. God had mercy on Dr. Cosby going blind because these white Folks will never let him see the light of day in Racist Ass America! God help us All! Hatred gone wild in the good old USA 🇺🇸

  3. leadjustone on said:

    So, he invited a young woman to his home; the one he shared with his wife, and “admitted” to putting his hands down her pants. Who does this? Did he get some kind of weird adrenaline rush from violating this woman in his home? Gross and disgusting! I feel sorry for his wife and children. Don’t blame them for defending him, but as for me; I believe the women.

  4. Dr. Larry on said:

    I don’t think there is any credible evidence of Cosby being a pedophile, but the trial will tell. Rapist, abductor, holding people hostage, and liar, yes, plenty of tangible evidence.

  5. EMaza on said:

    Uhhhh…several women filed complaints and charges against him years ago immediately after the incidents. Their cries & cases were just dismissed. They were ignored. The rest kept quiet out of shame, fear etc. Had Cosby been able to reign in this freaky disgusting behavior years ago it may have never come to light. He kept going because he was emboldened by getting away with it time and again. It’s one level above necrophilia. But really..I thought it would be a “jury of his peers”.

  6. americanize on said:

    Poor Bill,no matter how much money a black person has,the white supremacist will let you know who,s the boss.Stay Woke.

      • That word was just itching to come tumbling out of your mouth, wasn’t it? What in the wrong-headed-no-reading-comprehension-having hell did I say that was one bit racist? It’s like that word is just rubber stamped on people’s tongue as answer to every damned thing. Try thinking with your brain instead of your hatred and ignorance. Lordy!

  7. FallMornings on said:

    In both cases, Cosby and Trump, these were grown women. I don’t understand why women will come forth years latter to discredit a man. That’s the difference between men with and without money. The one’s with money get a pass the one’s without get called out immediately.
    Not fair on any count.

    • EMaza on said:

      Uhhhh…several women filed complaints and charges against him years ago immediately after the incidents. Their cries & cases were just dismissed. They were ignored. The rest kept quiet out of shame, fear etc. Had Cosby been able to reign in this freaky disgusting behavior years ago it may have never come to light. He kept going because he was emboldened by getting away with it time and again. It’s one level above necrophilia. But really..I thought it would be a “jury of his peers”.

  8. Mr. Cosby has already been tried and convicted in the publics opinion.

    The fact that most of these women waited years to come forward with their allegations,
    makes this case very suspicious.

    If Mr. Cosby winds up with an all-white jury-he most definitely can kiss his freedom goodbye!!!

    I wonder what happened to Mr. Jello Pudding man??????–LOL

    • Dr. Larry on said:

      His black attorney has equal input on the selection of the jury. It’s not white peoples fault that so many of the black population is ineligible for jury duty because of criminal convictions or the lack of desire to do their civic duty.

  9. Patricia on said:

    That jury is stacked against him. No way will it be a fair trial. Already tried and convicted him long before it got to jury selection.
    They went after Mr. Cosby for charges from 30 to 40 years ago with lightening speed but not one of the charges against known pervert Trump is being pursued. Why?
    Old Racist Peter Johnson needs to get off this site. These were grown women, not children.

    • What on said:

      Ignore that Peter fool. He (or she) is just a fool looking for attention to troll on these sites. And, I agree with your post Patricia.

    • Arthur Childress on said:

      You’re absolutely right in your Cosby / Trump comparison. Media treatment has been entirely different! As for that feeble-minded troll….he has no idea what the word pedophile means. It’s a word he hears tossed around the trailer park a lot and since it is the only word he has ever heard with more than one syllable, he thought he would put it out there!

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