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Jury Selection Begins For Cosby Assault Trial
Updated May 23, 2017 8:28 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(WASHINGTON) - Bill Cosby arrived at a Pittsburgh court Monday morning for jury selection in his criminal trial, which is slated to begin next month.

Regina Holmes of Talk ( Cosby, 79, who has registered as legally blind, was using a tan cane, holding the arm of another man and wearing dark sunglasses. His wife of 52 years, Camille Cosby, was not with him.

The comic actor has been charged with felony aggravated indecent assault stemming from an alleged encounter with accuser Andrea Constand. He has pleaded not guilty.

In February Judge Steven O'Neill granted a request made by Cosby's legal team to bring in a jury from either Pittsburgh or Philadelphia to allow for a more diverse group. The trial will take place about 300 miles away in Norristown.

About 60 women have accused Cosby of sexual assault. The statute of limitations has expired in many of those allegations. This trial will mark the first related to such allegations against him.

Andrea Constand (Twitter)
Constand alleges that in 2004, when she was the director of the women's basketball team at Temple University, Cosby's alma mater, he drugged and molested her at his home in Elkins Park. She went to police a year later, but the district attorney at the time declined to bring charges against Cosby.

Constand filed a civil lawsuit, which was settled confidentially in 2006. The Associated Press successfully petitioned to have portions of Cosby's deposition for that lawsuit unsealed about a decade later. Judge O'Neill ruled that some statements from the deposition would be admissible in the trial - including Cosby's admission to giving Quaaludes to a woman with whom he wanted to have sex.

Cosby admitted that he had a sexual encounter with Constand, but maintained that she had mischaracterized it. He said the only drug he gave her was Benadryl.

In 2015, shortly before the statute of limitations expired, a new district attorney charged Cosby with sexual assault. The comedian unsuccessfully petitioned to have the charge dismissed.

Judge O'Neill and the lawyers will try to select 12 jurors, plus six alternates, who have not been swayed by the pretrial publicity and are available to be bused to Norristown and sequestered for the trial. Judge O'Neill has said the trial could last about two weeks.

The trial is set to begin on June 5. Cosby faces up to 10 years in jail and a $25,000 fine if he is convicted.

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