Bill Cosby Jury Selection: Defense Alleges Discrimination

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An accusation of "racial animus" from Bill Cosby's defense team against the prosecution halted the third day of jury selection for the comedian's sexual assault trial for almost three hours.

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. The defense team has already blocked several women from serving on the jury, according to ABC News, while the prosecution excluded two men, including one who had disparaging things to say about the #MeToo movement.

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.

The rulings came ahead of a productive second day of jury selection in suburban Philadelphia, with a half-dozen jurors picked by midday to bring the total number to seven.

William Henry Cosby Jr., 80, as his name appears on charging documents, faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault in connection with allegations he had inappropriate sexual contact with Andrea Constand, a former Temple University athletic department employee, at his Cheltenham home after plying her with blue pills and wine sometime between mid-January and mid-February 2004.

Cosby is charged with drugging and molesting a woman in 2004.

"Her response was that it had not happened but she could say it happened and file charges, file a civil suit, get the money, go to school, and open up a business", Jackson said. He's pleaded not guilty.

For the upcoming trial, prosecutors had hoped to call as many as 19 other accusers to show a pattern of "prior bad acts" over five decades; in the first trial, only one woman was allowed to do so.

Media lawyers had challenged an arrangement that forced reporters to watch the group questioning part of jury selection on a closed-circuit feed from another courtroom.

The prosecution and defense each have seven peremptory challenges they can use to excuse a juror, other than for cause, during the selection process.

Montgomery County President Judge Thomas DelRicci agreed Wednesday to move the camera to the back of the courtroom so the media can see the potential jurors.

Wednesday marks the third day of jury selection.

Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse before jury selection in his sexual assault retrial April 2, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

The first and only juror to be selected on Monday indicated he had no knowledge of the case and would not let what he has heard about #MeToo influence his ability to be impartial.

At the time, the judge ruled Jackson's testimony would be hearsay after Constand, a former Temple University women's basketball administrator, testified she didn't know the woman. The trial is expected to last anywhere from two weeks to a month.

Cosby's lawyers scored a pair of rulings Tuesday crucial to their strategy of painting his accuser as a money-grubbing liar.

Jury selection can not continue until O'Neill has considered the motion.

For the retrial, a judge has ruled that jurors can hear from five additional accusers, giving prosecutors a chance to portray Cosby as a serial predator.

Constand's lawyer has said Marguerite Jackson isn't telling the truth.

The judge also has to decide whether the jury can hear details about the 2006 financial settlement Cosby reached with Ms Constand.

The 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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