11 people seated on Cosby jury; defense sees race bias


(CNN) - Eleven jurors have been picked thus far for the Bill Cosby trial after the second day of jury selection at the Allegheny County Courthouse in Pennsylvania.

The five jurors selected - three men and two women - all said they had not formed opinions about the case. Last week during an interview Cosby voiced his concern that race "could be" a contributing factor in the accusations against him.

One-third of the potential jurors questioned Monday said they've formed opinions about Cosby's guilt or innocence, while the majority said it would be hard to spend several weeks sequestered across the state.

Hundreds of potential jurors are being called to a Pittsburgh courthouse this week as the search for panel that will decide the comedian's sex abuse trial gets underway.

Juror No. 8, a white middle-age man, said he could be a fair juror even though a family member had once suffered a sexual assault.

"Can we trust them (to be fair)?" Now, Bill Cosby is facing trial on sexual offense charges that could land the comedian in prison for the rest of his life.

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In making his picks, O'Neill will likely not attempt to find people who have not heard of the case, but simply push for jurors who vow to base their verdict exclusively on the evidence presented at trial.

Bill Cosby's lawyers say he is "looking forward" to getting jury selection started in Pittsburgh and is "holding up fine" as the trial nears. The sides still have two jurors and six alternates to seat, according to reports.

Cosby emerged from an SUV at the Allegheny County Courthouse just before 8 a.m. Monday.

Cosby arrived in the courtroom flanked by his attorneys and being helped to his seat by his assistant and spokesman Andrew Wyatt.

He walked straight through a gauntlet of cameras and ignored reporters as they peppered him with questions.

He said attorneys will not only have to find impartial jurors amid Cosby's notoriety and fame, they'll have to find people who are willing be sequestered 300 miles from home in a trial that's expected to last at least two weeks, while not having ulterior motives.

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The man once known as America's Dad was charged in 2015 with felony aggravated indecent assault for allegedly drugging and molesting Temple University women's basketball coach Andrea Constand in 2004.

Lawyers hope to have the panel in place by the end of the week.

The 79-year-old Cosby is accused of drugging and molesting a college basketball team manager in 2004.

Lawyers hope to find a dozen jurors and six alternates in Pittsburgh willing to be sequestered almost 300 miles (482 kilometers) from home. He expects consultants to ponder every "micro-expression" they make as lawyers examine their race, age, gender, occupation and interests. The judge said they can use their cellphones and laptops but they cannot discuss the case on social media. And I don't feel her say anything.

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

Cosby was arrested December 30, 2015, days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired.

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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Bill Cosby's lawyers accused Pennsylvania prosecutors of trying to "systematically" keep blacks off the jury Tuesday after prosecutors used their strikes to keep two black women off the panel. "I want to get back to the laughter and the enjoyment of things that I've written and things that I perform on stage".