Cosby retrial starts on Monday

NEW YORK • Bill Cosby will be back in court on Monday when his retrial on sexual charges begins.

A key process - the selection of a jury of seven men and five women - was completed on Wednesday after almost three days of selection, with prosecutors and lawyers for Cosby agreeing on the final member of the panel.

The jury selection was closely watched because the 80-year-old's previous trial ended last summer with a hung jury, unable to reach a verdict after six days of deliberation.

Jurors this time were asked whether they had formed opinions about the comedian's guilt or innocence, whether they were already too influenced by the #MeToo movement and whether they or a close family member had been a victim of sexual assault.

Two of the 12 jurors - a man and a woman - are black; the rest are white. All are residents of Montgomery County, a predominantly white suburban area north of Philadelphia.

Judge Steven T. O'Neill called the jury-selection process "long and arduous".

A major disagreement came in a challenge from Cosby's lawyers, who claimed that the prosecution had objected to the inclusion of a black woman on the jury because of her race.

But Montgomery County district attorney Kevin Steele said prosecutors had agreed to both the black jurors to emerge from a jury pool.

Cosby faces three counts of sexually assaulting Ms Andrea Constand, a former Temple University basketball administrator, at his home outside Philadelphia in 2004.

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2018, with the headline 'Cosby retrial starts on Monday'. Print Edition | Subscribe