Jury picked for Cosby's sex assault retrial

Jury selection begins Monday in Cosby retrial

The judge in Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial has given his legal defence a huge boost, ruling his lawyers can call a witness who says the accuser talked about framing a celebrity before she went to police in 2005 with allegations about the comedian.

The panel, which includes 10 whites and two blacks, was picked to decide the 80-year-old comedian's fate. The panel of five women and seven men that was selected ultimately failed to reach a unanimous verdict in Cosby's first trial in June.

Defense attorney's claimed similar cases of discrimination during jury selection on Tuesday, claiming the prosecution was eliminating older white males from serving on the jury.

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 prosecutions from excluding prospective jurors due to their race.

Steele didn't give a reason why the prosecution used one of its seven peremptory strikes on the woman, who had said she could ignore what she knows about the Cosby case and the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct in order to serve as an impartial juror.

Cosby faces three counts of sexually assaulting Ms Andrea Constand, a former Temple University basketball administrator, at his home outside Philadelphia in 2004.

Judge Steven O'Neill questioned a group of 120 prospective jurors as jury selection continues for a fourth day Thursday.

Castor's lawsuit said Cosby paid Constand "well into the millions of dollars" in a civil settlement. The judge issued one caveat to the ruling, saying he could revisit his decision after Constand's testimony.

Cosby, whose reputation has collapsed since his '80s sitcom redefined mainstream depictions of African-American families on TV, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Jury selection begins Monday in Cosby retrial
Bill Cosby's payout to Andrea Constand will be revealed at trial, judge rules

Cosby swung his cane and said, "Good morning, good morning", as he walked into the courtroom. The state insisted that is not the case, and pointed out that two black people have already been seated on the panel. Prosecutors and Cosby's lawyers nevertheless found him acceptable.

The first alternate picked Thursday, a middle-aged black man, said he could set aside what he's heard about the Cosby case but hesitated and couldn't guarantee it when pressed by the judge.

A dozen people were invited back for individual questioning Wednesday as the prosecution and defense look to fill 11 remaining spots. Cosby's defense announced at a pretrial hearing last week that it would seek to enter its details in court.

Bliss also accused one member of the prosecution team - whom she did not name - of making "discriminatory and repulsive" comments, which she did not detail or describe in open court.

The original retrial was due to begin in November 2017 but was pushed back six months after Cosby hired the new lawyers.

Eight jurors have been picked so far, including one Wednesday. The process resumes on Wednesday in suburban Philadelphia.

Defense lawyers had asked O'Neill to permit Jackson to testify that Constand, a former co-worker, once told her she could profit by accusing a famous person of sexual assault.

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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