Jury of 12 on Bill Cosby sex assault case includes 2 blacks

In the Cosby trial, scheduled for June 5, the pool of potential jurors is coming from Allegheny County because Cosby's attorneys argued that pretrial publicity would make it hard to find impartial jury candidates in Montgomery County, where Cosby lives. The panel includes seven men and five women.

Bill Cosby, center, arrives for a hearing in his sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, in Norristown, Pa.

"How my father is being punished by a society that still believes black men rape white women; but pass off "boys will be boys" when white men are accused and how the politics of our country prove my disgust".

Currently, 11 people have been chosen for the jury so far.

One person in Wednesday's jury pool says they know Cosby or his family.

After deliberating with the counsel, the judge chose to keep the woman on the anonymous jury.

Judge Steven O'Neill, who will try to seat the final juror and six alternates on Wednesday, rejected the defense's arguments, saying he would reconsider if lawyers for Cosby, who is black, can provide statistical evidence.

Defense lawyers objected, saying the jury was not diverse enough to give Cosby a fair trial.

With only one black person seated among the first 11 jurors, defense lawyers are accusing prosecutors of keeping blacks off the jury.

In the end, all but one member of the panel said they were at least somewhat familiar with the allegations against Cosby.

McMonagle challenged the prosecution's move, arguing that it was a violation of U.S. Supreme Court ruling Batson vs. Kentucky, which states prosecutors must find a race-neutral reason for keeping minorities off juries with a preemptive strike.

The jury pool is approximately 88 percent white, consistent with Allegheny County census bureau data for 2015.

Prosecutors said they removed a black woman on Tuesday because she was a former police detective once accused of falsifying records, not because of her race.

The jury makeup is 17 percent black, higher than the 13 percent black population in Allegheny County.

Dozens of other women have made similar accusations against Cosby, 79, but the judge is allowing only one of them to testify.

The jury from Pittsburgh will be sequestered almost 300 miles away in Montgomery County, where they will stay in a hotel for the length of the trial.

Cosby, whose reputation as America's favorite TV dad has been irreparably sullied, has denied any wrongdoing and said every sexual encounter was consensual. Constand said she went seeking career advice.

Cosby's daughter Esna Cosby also said that she believes racism had a role to play in the scandal.

Cosby, in an interview last week, said he thinks race "could be" a motivating factor in the accusations against him.

Prosecutors and the defense team on Wednesday also selected three of six alternates, and two of them are black.

  • Larry Hoffman