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The Latest: Jury picked for Cosby’s sex assault retrial

April 4, 2018

Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in Norristown. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial (all times local):

3:55 p.m.

A jury has been picked in the Bill Cosby sexual assault retrial in suburban Philadelphia.

Prosecutors and the defense have settled on the panel of 12 jurors who will sit in judgment of the 80-year-old comedian. They still have to pick six alternates.

The main panel appears to have 10 white and two black jurors. Cosby’s lawyers had accused prosecutors of racial discrimination Wednesday for excluding a black woman from the panel. Prosecutors denied race had anything to do with it. Cosby is black.

The jury has seven men and five women.

Cosby has denied charges he drugged and molested a woman at his home in 2004.

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3:10 p.m.

Three more jurors have been selected in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial in suburban Philadelphia.

Two white men and a white woman will serve on the panel.

Cosby’s lawyers had tried to get the woman removed for cause after she admitted she checked off the wrong answers on her jury questionnaire because she hadn’t read the questions. The defense complained “she keeps changing her answers.”

Eleven jurors have been picked so far, including nine whites and two blacks. The jury has six men and five women.

The 80-year-old entertainer has denied drugging and molesting a woman at his home in 2004. His first trial ended in a hung jury.

Cosby’s lawyers earlier alleged a black woman was removed from jury consideration because of her race.

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1:15 p.m.

Bill Cosby’s lawyers have agreed to move ahead with jury selection after alleging prosecutors removed a black woman from consideration because of her race.

Jury selection in the comedian’s sexual assault retrial was halted for several hours Wednesday after the defense challenged the woman’s removal. Defense lawyers say a member of the prosecution team was overheard making a disparaging remark after prosecutors used one of their challenges to have the woman dismissed as a potential juror.

Prosecutors pushed back, noting two blacks have been already been seated as jurors.

Cosby’s lawyers agreed to let jury selection proceed.

Cosby is charged with drugging and molesting a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. His first trial ended in a hung jury.

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12:05 p.m.

Bill Cosby’s lawyers are alleging a member of the prosecution team made a disparaging remark after prosecutors removed a black woman from consideration as a prospective juror in the comedian’s sexual assault retrial.

The 80-year-old comedian’s lawyers are trying to use the remark as evidence that prosecutors were discriminatory in wanting the juror off the case. Cosby lawyer Kathleen Bliss said Wednesday that a member of the prosecution team was overheard saying “something that was discriminatory and repulsive.”

District Attorney Kevin Steele says “there’s absolutely no legitimacy” to the defense challenge. He says prosecutors had no problem seating the two other black people who’ve appeared for individual questioning so far.

Judge Steven O’Neill has ordered both sides into chambers to talk it over.

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10:35 a.m.

Jury selection in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial has been halted as the comedian’s lawyers challenge the prosecution’s decision to exclude a black woman from the jury.

The defense is alleging the prosecution was discriminatory in using one of its seven strikes to remove the woman from consideration. Prosecutors did not have to give a reason for wanting her removed. Assistant District Attorney Kristen Feden says the challenge makes no sense because they’ve already seated two black jurors.

The judge says he doesn’t believe the prosecution had any “discriminatory intent” but halted Wednesday’s proceeding to read a defense brief.

Eight jurors have been picked so far, including one Wednesday.

Cosby is charged with drugging and molesting a woman in 2004. He’s pleaded not guilty. His first trial ended in a hung jury.

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This item has been corrected to fix the spelling of Feden’s name.

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10 a.m.

A judge is giving The Associated Press and other media organizations more access to a portion of jury selection in the Bill Cosby sexual assault retrial.

Media lawyers had challenged an arrangement that forced reporters to watch the group questioning part of jury selection on a closed-circuit feed from another courtroom. The camera showed the judge, prosecutors and defense lawyers, but not potential jurors who were being questioned as a group.

Montgomery County President Judge Thomas DelRicci agreed Wednesday to move the camera to the back of the courtroom so the media can see the potential jurors.

DelRicci refused to make room in the crowded courtroom for a pool reporter, but said if the jury pool did not fill the room to capacity, he’d allow reporters to attend live.

Wednesday marks the third day of jury selection.

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8:50 a.m.

Comedian Bill Cosby has arrived for the third day of jury selection in his retrial on sexual assault charges.

Cosby walked into the suburban Philadelphia courthouse Wednesday where lawyers are continuing to choose the jury.

One juror was chosen Monday and six on Tuesday.

The 80-year-old Cosby is charged with drugging and molesting a former Temple University athletics administrator at his home in 2004.

The judge last June declared a mistrial after more than 52 hours of jury deliberations over six days. One juror said the panel was split 10-2 in favor of conviction, while another said the group was more evenly divided.

Cosby’s lawyers scored a pair of rulings Tuesday crucial to their strategy of painting his accuser as a money-grubbing liar.

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12:05 a.m.

Bill Cosby’s lawyers have scored a pair of rulings crucial to their strategy of painting his accuser as a money-grubbing liar as jury selection in his sexual assault retrial continues for a third day.

Seven jurors have been picked so far. The process resumes on Wednesday in suburban Philadelphia.

Judge Steven O’Neill on Tuesday granted the Cosby team’s request to call a woman who says accuser Andrea Constand talked about framing a celebrity before she lodged allegations against the comedian in 2005.

Constand’s lawyer has said Marguerite Jackson isn’t telling the truth.

The judge also ruled that jurors can hear how much Cosby paid Constand in a 2006 civil settlement.

The Associated Press doesn’t typically identify people who say they’re victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

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The items marked 3:55 p.m., 3:10 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. have been corrected to reflect year of alleged assault was 2004, not 2012.

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