5 jurors picked for Cosby trial, 2 know a sex assault victim

Jury selection is taking place 300 miles (480 kilometers) from the Pennsylvania town where the trial is scheduled to begin, after Cosby's lawyers argued it would be easier to find an unbiased panel in the city.

Prosecutors hope to show it was part of a pattern of behavior for Cosby.

"From Cosby's perspective, the chance to get a Pittsburgh jury rather than a Montgomery County jury would have been appealing", said Ms Anne Poulin, a professor emeritus of law at Villanova University, who is unconnected to the case.

"In a normal case, juries are all banging the door to get out, bringing up every hardship in the world", trial consultant Howard Varinsky said.

"You have the right to a fair trial and an impartial jury", said Douglas Sughrue, a Pittsburgh defense attorney.

Judge Steven O'Neill in February granted a defense request that jurors come from another county.

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Of the 11 current jurors, one is black. FILE - This Feb. 7, 2003, file photo shows the Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh.

Cosby's case is slated to be tried before a 12-person jury, with an additional six alternates.

Both men say they or someone close to them has been sexually assaulted, but they insisted they could set that aside to fairly judge the case.

A dozen jurors and six alternates will be selected in all - then shipped across the state to serve in what is expected to be a two-week trial beginning June 5 on allegations the entertainer molested a Temple University basketball team manager at his home near Philadelphia in 2004. Cosby maintains that their 2004 sexual encounter at his home in Cheltenham was consensual. The jury from Pittsburgh will be sequestered almost 300 miles from home.

Cosby has said he thinks race "could be" a motivating factor in the accusations lodged against him. Black comedian Hannibal Burress seemingly inspired more accusers to go public after he called Cosby a rapist onstage.

Bill Cosby, right rear, arrives with one of his attorneys Angela Agrusa, center, for the second day of jury selection in his sexual assault case at the Allegheny County Courthouse, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Pittsburgh. "But race may take a more focused perspective because the defense has (raised it) recently".

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He is free on $100,000 bond and faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

The jurors' names, ages and occupations were being kept private from reporters. Also, several potential jurors noted that a family member or friend had been a sex assault victim.

But Montgomery County is now hosting a heated district attorney race involving former prosecutor Bruce Castor, who refused to bring charges against Cosby in 2004 and District Attorney Kevin Steele, who reopened the case in 2015. Constand said she went seeking career advice. Cosby says his wife has "never" waivered in her support.

Dozens of other women have accused him of similar conduct. Not long after Constand swallowed the pills, she says she felt "rubbery" and everything had become "blurry".

Jury selection begins Monday in a criminal trial against comedian Bill Cosby on felony charges of sexual assault - and just a few hours into the process, it's evident that seating a jury is going to be a challenge.

Her accusation led to Cosby's arrest in December 2014, days before the statute of limitations on the alleged crime was to expire.

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Allegheny County, which has a population of 1.2 million people, is 82 percent white and 13 percent black, according to 2010 Census Data.

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