2 men, 1 woman selected for Bill Cosby jury

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, left, and Ron Bull/Toronto Star/The Canadian Press via AP, right).

FILE – In this combination of file photos, entertainer Bill Cosby pauses during an interview in Washington on November 6, 2014, and Andrea Constand poses for a photo in Toronto on August 1, 1987.

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File).

Bill Cosby, en el centro, llega a la Corte del Condado de Allegheny para la selección del jurado en su caso por abuso sexual, el lunes 22 de mayo del 2017 en Pittsburgh.

Bill Cosby departs the Montgomery County Courthouse after a preliminary hearing in Norristown, Pennsylvania, U.S. on May 24, 2016.

Lawyers in Bill Cosby's sex assault case this week hope to find a dozen jurors and six alternates willing to be sequestered almost 300 miles from home.

The difficulty of finding 12 impartial jurors to weigh sexual-assault charges against Bill Cosby was on full display as jury selection began on Monday, when most of the potential jurors admitted to being aware of the blaze of publicity surrounding that entertainer in recent years, amid allegations by dozens of women.

All five jurors so far selected are white. Two of the men selected said they or someone close to them had been sexually assaulted, but they insisted they could judge the case fairly.

Jury selection is expected to last all week. The trial will start June 5 near Philadelphia. After that, each side can strike seven jurors and three alternates without cause, simply because they fear they would hurt their sides. In one of the interviews, on Sirius XM, he said the onslaught of accusations against him were possibly rooted in racism, a charge his lawyers had previously made.

Two men and one woman have been picked for the jury that will hear Bill Cosby's sex assault case. She alleges Cosby drugged and molested her in Los Angeles in 1996.

About 60 women have accused Cosby of sexual assault.

"People in Pittsburgh have conservative values so I think they're going to run into some of the same issues that they would have here (in Montgomery County) as opposed to being sent to Philadelphia for a much more liberal juror pool", Mullaney speculated. Black jurors may be more willing to doubt police and prosecutors, while older jurors may blame the victim for being in the married Cosby's home, he said. About 50 potential jurors are expected to be called Tuesday morning. One man appears to be in his 20s or early 30s.

Jurors will be bused and sequestered in a hotel.

Cosby said that the pills were Benadryl and that the sexual contact that night was consensual.

Another question was, "Have you or any member of your family been a victim of sexual assault?"

Cosby's lawyers succeeded in having jury selection determined 300 miles (480 kilometers) from the Pennsylvania town where the trial is scheduled to begin, arguing it would be hard to find an unbiased panel in Norristown.

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

"He's holding up fine, he's looking forward to it. and we're looking forward to getting a trial", said defense lawyer Brian McMonagle.

Lawyers hope to have the panel in place by the end of the week. Judge Steven O'Neill asked the first group of 100 jury candidates.

The case has drawn massive media coverage, leading O'Neill to agree to select jurors in Pittsburgh, rather than Montgomery County, where Cosby will be tried starting on June 5. The comedian went to Pittsburgh on May 22, 2017, as his attorneys vie with prosecutors to pick the jury that will decide if the actor drugged and molested Constand, a Temple University women's basketball team manager, at his home near Philadelphia in 2004.

Cosby, 79, entered the Allegheny Courthouse around 8 a.m. with a team of three attorneys and a publicist. He walked slowly through a courtyard in the middle of the building and declined to answer reporters' questions. His assistant says he has no comment.

Around two-thirds 67 also indicated it would be an extraordinary and undue hardship to be away from home and sequestered for two weeks or more.

Lawyers in Bill Cosby's sex assault case this week hope to find a dozen jurors and six alternates willing to be sequestered almost 300 miles (482 kilometers) from home. The lawyers studied each person's race, sex, age, occupation and interests to try to guess their inherent sympathies, experts said.

  • Larry Hoffman