Jury picked for Cosby's sex assault retrial

Jury picked for Cosby's sex assault retrial

Jury picked for Cosby's sex assault retrial

Bill Cosby has arrived at court for his sexual assault retrial.

After a showdown over race, the jury picked to decide Bill Cosby's fate in the first big trial of the #MeToo era ended up mirroring the gender and racial makeup of the group that deadlocked past year: seven men and five women - 10 white, two black.

His first trial last spring ended with a deadlocked jury and a mistrial.

Cosby stumbled a bit getting out of an SUV on Thursday and then put a hand up to say he was OK before walking into the suburban Philadelphia courthouse where lawyers will work to pick six alternate jurors.

A jury of seven men and five women - 10 of them white, two of them black - was seated Wednesday to decide Bill Cosby's fate in the biggest celebrity trial of the #MeToo era, after a day marked by defense accusations of racial discrimination.

Cosby's lawyers had appeared ready to strike at the first instance of prosecutors blocking a black juror, producing a legal brief that argued the move violated a 32-year-old Supreme Court ruling that prohibits prosecutors from excluding prospective jurors due to their race.

Cosby is accused of attacking Constand, a former Temple University employee, while she visited his home in Cheltenham in 2004.

Bliss, in earlier arguments, had suggested prosecutors would have had no reason other than race to cut the potential juror whose removal started the argument.

The camera shows the judge, prosecutors and defence lawyers, but not potential jurors who are being questioned as a group.

After they emerged, Cosby's lawyers said they weren't backing down but had agreed to set the issue aside so that jury selection could proceed.

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The young man picked as a retrial juror Monday said he did not know anything about Cosby's case.

Cosby's new defense team - led by attorney Tom Mesereau - separately accused prosecutors of attempting to deliberately exclude both older white men and African-Americans from the panel during the selection process.

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.

Defense lawyers at Bill Cosby's retrial on sexual assault charges can call a witness they say will undermine his accuser's credibility, a Pennsylvania judge said on Tuesday, reversing his ruling that barred the same witness from the first trial of the comedian once known as "America's Dad".

Reporters are watching the proceedings on a closed-circuit feed from an adjacent courtroom.

Picking a jury has proven hard after the #MeToo movement started toppling famous men months after Cosby's first trial ended in a deadlock.

"Crying by men and by women and more than one", he said. The defense will also be allowed to disclose how much money Cosby paid Constand in a 2006 civil settlement.

Jury selection resumes for a fourth day on Thursday as the prosecution and defense work to select six alternates. One juror said the panel was split 10-2 in favor of conviction, while another said the group was more evenly divided.

Montgomery County President Judge Thomas DelRicci said he would schedule a hearing on the news media's request.

AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

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