Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial begins jury selection process

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Comedian Bill Cosby, 79, was at the Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh on Monday as jury selection began for his sexual assault case.

Cosby is facing three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault of a Temple University employee. The alleged incident occurred in his home in 2004.

Cosby has entered a plea of not guilty on all charges and reportedly will not be testifying in his own defense.

According to reports, 86 of the first 100 people called admitted knowledge of the case. While one-fourth said they could not be impartial due to the nature of the charges, and one-third said they or a close relative had been a victim of sexual assault, only 14 of the 100 men and women who were questioned said preconceptions about the allegations would prevent them from being fair and impartial.

Judge Steven O’Neill told the prospective jurors, “This is a high-profile case but you are not high-profile people. You’re ordinary citizens who have been summoned for a great responsibility.”

In February, O’Neill granted a defense request to use a jury pool from another county, but the trial will continue as planned near Philadelphia in Monroe County.

Serving on a jury will require those selected to be sequestered 300 miles from home for up to three weeks. Two-thirds of potential jurors said that requirement would be too great a hardship.

Cosby, who is registered as legally blind, did not look at jurors or say anything when he entered court Monday.

Following jury selection, opening statements are scheduled to begin June 5.

Cosby has been accused of misconduct by over 50 women. Many of the allegations against him include claims that Cosby drugged the women before sexually assaulting them.

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