Cosby wants judge ousted over wife's sex-assault advocacy
Bill Cosby's lawyers are asking the judge in his upcoming sexual assault retrial to step aside, arguing he could be seen as biased because his wife is a social worker who's described herself as an "advocate for assault victims."Cosby's lawyers said Thursday that some of Judge Steven O'Neill's rulings, including his decision to let five additional accusers testify, could give the appearance he's influenced by his wife's work.Deborah O'Neill is the coordinator of a University of Pennsylvania sexual trauma outreach team. She wrote her dissertation on acquaintance rape.The O'Neills did not immediately respond to messages.
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NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Prosecutors and the defense wrapped up jury selection in the Bill Cosby sexual assault case Thursday, setting the stage for the first big celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.
All six alternates — half of them black — were picked without incident after an earlier showdown over the jury's racial makeup. Alternate jurors listen to the evidence and testimony, but do not participate in jury deliberations unless called upon to replace jurors on the main panel.
1 juror selected, key rulings coming in Bill Cosby retrial
One juror has been picked and key rulings are on the way in Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial. Judge Steven O'Neill said he will reveal his decisions on lingering issues in the case before jury selection resumes on Tuesday in suburban Philadelphia.
Cosby's lawyers had accused prosecutors of discrimination for removing a black woman from consideration on the main jury of 12 that will decide the 80-year-old comedian's fate.
The district attorney's office rejected the allegation, noting that prosecutors had no objection to seating two other black people on the jury. The other 10 jurors are white. There are seven men and five women.
Opening statements are scheduled for Monday in a trial that's expected to last a month.
Bill Cosby's retrial jury mirrors first on gender, race
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. There are seven men and five women. Ten are white, two are black. Jury selection resumes for a fourth day on Thursday as the prosecution and defense work to select six alternates.Race dominated Wednesday's jury selection.
Cosby faces three felonies stemming from allegations by a former Temple University women's basketball administrator who says Cosby, a Temple alum and longtime trustee, gave her pills that made her woozy, then assaulted her at his home in the Philadelphia suburbs in 2004.
Cosby, once revered as "America's Dad" for his family sitcom "The Cosby Show," says the encounter was consensual.
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. Prosecutors and Cosby's lawyers nevertheless found him acceptable.
A middle-aged white woman also picked as an alternate said she could put aside her thoughts that Cosby, who is black, is guilty.
A Philadelphia judge, meanwhile, threw out a former prosecutor's defamation lawsuit against Cosby's accuser.
Cosby lawyers ask for juror to be removed
One of the jurors selected this week for Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial should be removed for making a comment indicating the TV icon is guilty, according to defense lawyers. They say it shows the juror may not be fair and impartial. A motion filed late Friday afternoon says the man, who was elected as Juror 11, said, "I just think he's guilty, so we can all be done and get out of here," during the jury selection process. Another prospective juror, who was ultimately not selected, says she heard the comment while a small group of jurors were waiting be individually questioned by the judge, the defense says.
Judge Ann Butchart on Tuesday dismissed the lawsuit against Andrea Constand and two of her lawyers by Bruce Castor Jr. He claimed Constand and her lawyers harmed his reputation and cost him a chance to return as district attorney by criticizing him and suing him for defamation days before the 2015 election.
Castor was district attorney in 2005 when Constand first told police Cosby had drugged and molested her. Castor ended his investigation into Cosby after four weeks, announcing the comedian wouldn't be charged because the evidence showed both parties "could be held in less than a flattering light."
A new district attorney reopened the case in 2015 after Cosby's deposition in Constand's lawsuit was unsealed at the request of The Associated Press. Cosby gave the deposition in 2005 and 2006 as part of Constand's suit against him.
Castor's lawsuit said Cosby paid Constand "well into the millions of dollars" in a settlement.
Constand's federal defamation suit against Castor is still active.
The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.
Associated Press writer Mark Scolforo in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, contributed to this report.
Cosby conviction could mean hefty damages in civil cases: legal experts .
By Brendan Pierson