Bill Cosby trial judge delivers defense 2 big victories

04 April, 2018, 02:06 | Author: Rachel Mcdaniel
  • Bill Cosby arrives at court as sexual assault retrial begins

Members of the jury at the retrial will also hear from an additional five women who have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct. At Cosby's first trial in June 2017, O'Neill only allowed one woman to testify, which was Kelley Johnson.

Together, the two rulings will bolster the defense's strategy to portray Constand as a liar who invented the incident to extort money from the comedian best known for his rose as Cliff Huxtable, the wise and witty dad on the long-running hit sitcom "The Cosby Show".

Twenty-eight jurors told the court that the nature of the charges against Cosby, which accuse him of drugging and sexual assaulting central accuser Andrea Constand in 2004, would prevent them from being a fair and impartial juror.

Jackson was initially not permitted to testify during the first trial after Constand claimed to not know her.

She said during trial those pills made her feel "frozen" and pass out.

Andrea Constand walks to the courtroom for Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial.

As Cosby and his spokesman Andrew Wyatt entered the Montgomery County Courthouse on Tuesday morning, a reporter asked what the entertainer's thoughts were going into the day's happenings. O'Neill announced last week that the jury will be sequestered, as they were in the first trial a year ago.

In the first trial, jury selection was moved to Pittsburgh over defense fears that widespread publicity could make it hard to find unbiased jurors in the Philadelphia area.

That left just 27 people invited back for individual questioning Tuesday as prosecutors and Cosby's lawyers worked to fill out the panel of 12 jurors and six alternates. Another group of 120 potential jurors also was also being brought in, in case they do not make the cut.

As jury selection proceeded, The Associated Press and other news organizations challenged an arrangement that forces reporters to watch the proceedings on a closed-circuit feed from another courtroom. The defense struck a middle-aged woman who said she had been sexually abused but said she wouldn't let the abuse impact her decisions as a juror.

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Judge Steven O'Neill said Monday that Cosby's lawyers objected to the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association's request because they feared it could hurt their ability to find a fair and impartial jury.

Montgomery County President Judge Thomas DelRicci scheduled a Wednesday morning hearing on the news media's legal challenge.

Constand said that in 2004 she went to Cosby's home in Philadelphia and that he drugged and molested her when she was unconscious.

"The Cosby Show" star maintained that the encounter was consensual.

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

Page Six said that 120 people were questioned in total on Monday and only one person said they were unaware of the #MeToo movement, a national conversation about sexual harassment and assault.

Jackson, according to the affidavit, recalled being on a trip to Rhode Island and rooming with Constand and watching a television news report "about a prominent person who had been accused of drugging and sexually assaulting women".

The prosecution and defense responded to those numbers by agreeing to strike 88 potential jurors with cause.

The Los Angeles Times noted that Cosby's retrial will now have to face the #MeToo movement, which began late past year after Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was outed as a serial sexual abuser.

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