Bill Cosby arrives for Day 2 of jury selection in his sex offense trial
For decades, he was one of America’s most popular entertainers. Now, Bill Cosby is facing trial on sexual offense charges that could land the comedian in prison for the rest of his life.
Cosby, 79, arrived Tuesday at the Allegheny County Courthouse for the second day of jury selection. Five jurors were seated Monday: two white women and three white men; Cosby is black.
Cosby walked in clutching two representatives, one on each side. He declined to answer questions.
At 9 a.m. ET, the court is due to call the remaining 42 jurors from Monday’s pool. Another 50 jurors are set to be called at 11:30 a.m.
Of 100 potential jurors interviewed Monday, 86 said they had previous knowledge of the case.
Cosby is charged with three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault of a Temple University employee in 2004 in his home outside Philadelphia.
If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison.
Cosby, best known as the benevolent father on the smash sitcom “The Cosby Show,” has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Opening statements are due to begin June 5 in Montgomery County, north of Philadelphia.
Cosby wanted trial moved
In recent years, more than 50 women have accused Cosby of misconduct. Many allege he drugged and sexually assaulted them.
This is the only criminal trial.
Judge Steven O’Neill in February granted a defense request that jurors come from another county. But the judge denied a request to move the trial, which Cosby sought due to pretrial publicity.
Jurors will be bused and sequestered in a hotel. The trial is expected to last two to three weeks.
Cosby does not plan to testify in his own defense, he told CNN host Michael Smerconish last week.
Some laughter in the courtroom
Cosby also did not speak as he entered court Monday. He wore sunglasses, carried a cane and held a man by the arm.
When he sat down, he needed assistance finding his chair. Cosby is “legally unsighted” due to problems linked to glaucoma, he told Smerconish.
Potential jurors’ eyes locked on Cosby when he walked in. Some in the back sat up so they could look at him.
Members of Cosby’s legal team smiled, even laughed, at times.
For most of the morning session, the defendant sat back in his chair looking straight up.
By the numbers
The pool of potential jurors includes 2,934 people.
O’Neill posed 48 questions to 100 of them Monday morning.
They answered by raising juror cards. Among the jurors:
53 women and 16 nonwhite people.
34 said they had formed an opinion of guilty or innocent in the case already.
14 said their preconceived notion would prevent them from being fair or impartial.
35 admitted they or someone close to them had been the victim of sexual assault.
67 said the trial would create an extraordinary or undue hardship.
14 said the fact the case involves charges of sex assault would affect their ability to make a fair and impartial decision on guilt or innocence.
Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the location of Cosby’s home and of the trial opening statements scheduled to begin June 5. Cosby lives outside Philadelphia. Opening statements will be in Montgomery County.