April 20, 2018

Cosby judge delivers 2 big victories to defence

04 April 2018, 01:12 | Clyde Nash

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Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse before jury selection in his sexual assault retrial

O'Neill said the jury will be sequestered at a hotel and warned that the retrial could last about a month.

Prosecutors and the defense chose a half-dozen jurors in rapid succession Tuesday after only choosing one juror Monday.

The rulings came ahead of a productive second day of jury selection in suburban Philadelphia, with a half-dozen jurors picked by the midday lunch break to bring the total number to seven.

Constand's attorney says that Jackson is "not telling the truth".

Jackson, a Temple University employee, did not testify at Cosby's first trial, which ended a year ago ended in a hung jury and a mistrial.

Cosby is charged with drugging and sexually molesting a Temple University women's basketball administrator at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

Judge Steven O'Neill ruled Tuesday that a woman who says his accuser was out for money can testify.

Prosecutors and the defence began the hard task of picking a jury for Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial Monday amid a powerful #MeToo movement that has pierced the consciousness of the men and women who will sit in judgment of the 80-year-old comedian.

The 2006 settlement - kept confidential for more than a decade and as Cosby's first trial ended with a hung jury in June - will be disclosed publicly for the first time at Cosby's retrial on charges he drugged and molested Constand. The defense team has already blocked several women from serving on the jury, according to ABC News, while the prosecution excluded two men, including one who had disparaging things to say about the #MeToo movement.

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Three-quarters of them were sent home as they said they already had formed an opinion about Cosby's guilt or innocence.

In another key ruling on Tuesday, the judge said evidence of a civil settlement between Cosby and Constand, including the monetary amount, is admissible during the sexual assault retrial.

Cosby's lawyers asked the court to ban T-shirts, flowers, buttons and any other paraphernalia that could be used to make a statement about the movement during the trial, to try to keep public opinion from biasing the jury. For the retrial, O'Neill has ruled jurors could hear from five additional accusers, giving prosecutors a chance to portray Cosby ‚ the former TV star once revered as "America's Dad" for his family sitcom "The Cosby Show", as a serial predator.

"This desperate move to introduce this highly suspect, hearsay testimony reflects defendant's continuing strategy of inserting red herrings to distract from the relevant issues in this case", Steele wrote.

Veteran lawyers and jury consultants say.MeToo could cut both ways for Cosby, making some potential jurors more hostile and others more likely to think men are being unfairly accused.

The first and only juror to be selected Monday indicated he had no knowledge of the case and wouldn't let what he's heard about.MeToo influence his ability to be impartial. But they're allowed to testify in this case to help a jury decide whether Cosby knew what he was doing. Ten years later, a judge unsealed deposition testimony Cosby gave during that civil suit, in which he said he did give Constand pills and there was sexual contact the night of the alleged assault.

Marguerite Jackson's testimony is crucial to the defense's plan to portray Constand as a greedy liar.

Just one juror was seated as jury selection began Monday.

She said she or a close relative had been the victim of a sex assault.

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