Cosby judge rejects media request on jury pool

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 previous year: seven men and five women - 10 white, two black.

The major disagreement of the day came in a challenge from Mr. Cosby's lawyers, who claimed that the prosecution had objected to the inclusion of a black woman on the jury because of her race. According to The New York Times, potential jurors are being asked if they have read about or heard of the Me Too movement, though it is still unclear what role that plays in the selection.

Defense attorney Kathleen Bliss claimed the district attorney was striking both older white men and black women from the panel.

The 80-year-old's comedian's lawyers didn't reveal in open court what they alleged had been said, but sought to use the remark as evidence that prosecutors illegally removed the woman from the jury pool on the basis of her race.

Steve O'Neill, the presiding judge in the Cosby trial, openly doubted that the exclusion of the black juror was based on discrimination, but he nonetheless made a decision to stop jury selection in order review the defense motion.

Cosby is accused of drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

Judge Steven O'Neill also made a pair of crucial rulings that greatly will impact the strategy of both teams. During another alternate's individual questioning, she said she had previously formed the opinion that Cosby was guilty, but she would be able to base her opinion of the defendant's innocence exclusively on the evidence presented in the case.

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For the retrial, Mr O'Neill has ruled jurors can hear from five additional accusers, giving prosecutors a chance to portray Cosby, the former TV star once revered as America's Dad for his family sitcom The Cosby Show, as a serial predator. The defense complained "she keeps changing her answers". During the initial trial, Cosby was one of the first famous men to face sexual-assault charges in a courtroom. Numerous alleged sexual predators who've been called out have been powerful or famous men like Cosby. Since then, prosecutors have told Cosby's lawyers that Constand had modified her statement to acknowledge she "recalls a Margo".

The jury picked to decide Bill Cosby's fate in the first big trial of the #MeToo era mirrors the gender and racial makeup of the group that deadlocked in last year's trial. Jackson says Constand once commented to her about setting up a "high-profile person" and filing a lawsuit.

One juror has been picked and key rulings are on the way in Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial.

Jury selection resumes for a fourth day on Thursday as the prosecution and defense work to select six alternates. Defense lawyers say a member of the prosecution team was overheard making a disparaging remark after prosecutors used one of their challenges to have the woman dismissed as a potential juror.

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

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.

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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