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Jury selected for Bill Cosby's June 5 trial

01 June 2017

Bill Cosby, center, talks to the media gathered at the Allegheny County Courthouse as he leaves after the third day of jury selection for his sexual assault case, Wednesday, May 24, 2017, in Pittsburgh.

After finalizing the main panel, lawyers also settled on three of six alternates Wednesday - two of them being black.

Cosby has said he does not expect to testify.

Judge O'Neill has already chose to sequester the jury for the trial, estimated at about two weeks. One of Cosby's daughters, Ensa, has said that the complaints against Cosby by many women were racially motivated, and in a radio interview last week - his first in two years, made as his lawyers said they sought to change the public's perception of him - Cosby said he thought race might be a factor.

The hunt was on Wednesday for a 12th juror and six alternates.

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In the end two black jurors were selected: a woman who said she knew little about the case and a soft-spoken, extremely polite man who left the courtroom before his selection was announced by cheerily saying, "Have a good day" to the judge.

McMonagle challenged the prosecution's move, arguing that it was a violation of U.S. Supreme Court ruling Batson vs. Kentucky, which states prosecutors must find a race-neutral reason for keeping minorities off juries with a preemptive strike.

"It's a terrific jury made up of people from all demographics, all over Allegheny County", Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele told reporters on Wednesday.

The pool of about 93 people appears to include eight black women and three black men.

The judge, though, found prosecutors had other valid reasons to strike two black women earlier this week.

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Bill Cosby, 79, is accused of luring ex-Temple University staffer Andrea Constand, 44, to his Elkins Park, Pa., mansion in 2004 under the false pretense of mentorship. The initial jury pool had 16 blacks among 100 people. The prosecution claimed, however, that the woman had been excluded based on her past career as a Pittsburgh detective, where she had been accused of falsifying time sheets in a criminal investigation, The Times reports.

Montgomery County prosecutors originally declined to bring a case against Cosby when Constand first contacted authorities more than a decade ago.

Numerous women allege he drugged and sexually assaulted them. "This case is frankly more about gender, celebrity, how women are treated (and) Bill Cosby's credibility". They aren't necessarily disqualified if they can convince the judge they can put that aside and focus on the evidence. Her background, Ryan said, sparked concern that she could have a "bias against governmental entities".

The trial will begin on June 5 in Montgomery County, as the defense unsuccessfully petitioned for it to take place elsewhere. She said Cosby gave her wine and pills that put her in a stupor and then he molested her on his couch. One woman besides Constand is expected to testify to establish that Cosby's actions were part of a predatory pattern.

Cosby has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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Jury selected for Bill Cosby's June 5 trial