10 people seated on jury in Bill Cosby's sex assault trial

Now, Bill Cosby is facing trial on sexual offense charges that could land the comedian in prison for the rest of his life. Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Steven T. O'Neill said he and attorneys were dealing with "very important issues", but he did not specify what those were. It is for this trial that dozens of potential jurors poured into Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, on Monday.

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

"I thought about it a lot yesterday", she said in response to questioning from the judge as to whether she could be impartial.

Lead lawyer Brian McMonagle had earlier said he hoped an unbiased jury could be found fairly quickly this week.

In all 53 women and 37 men were among the Allegheny County residents questioned as prospective jurors. Or are they bitter about Cosby's scolding of the young black community?

Cosby said in a recent interview on SiriusXM radio that he is unlikely to testify, nor does he want to on advice from his attorneys. A panel of 12 jurors and six alternates is needed.

The actor-comedian once known as America's Dad for his portrayal of Dr. Cliff Huxtable on "The Cosby Show" is charged with drugging and molesting a Temple University women's basketball team manager at his home near Philadelphia in 2004. Black jurors may be more willing to doubt police and prosecutors, while older jurors may blame the victim for being in the married Cosby's home, he said.

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.

On Monday, five jurors were selected, all of them white.

The trial is the only criminal case against Cosby, who has been accused of sexual misconduct in decades past by dozens of women.

The jurors are being chosen from hundreds of miles away because of pretrial publicity about the case in Montgomery County.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele will seek to prove Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand, then the operations director for Temple University's women's basketball program, at his Cheltenham Township home in 2004. He posted bail of US$1 million (RM4.3 million) in the case in December 2015. Each side can strike an additional seven people during jury selection and three more after alternatives are picked.

Cosby became the first black actor to star in a network TV show in 1965 but has alienated some younger blacks by criticizing their clothes, music and lifestyle. One man said the trial would interfere with his plans to take his children to a tennis tournament, while a woman said she'd already bought airline tickets for a trip.

Jury selection is expected to last all week.

Cosby arrived at the courthouse in a tan jacket and a tie spotted with large orange and yellow polka dots.

The jury so far consists of six men and four women - all but one of them white - in a case that Cosby says may have some racial undertones. Cosby has denied any wrongdoing, portraying all the encounters as consensual and contending that some accusers were out for money.

However, O'Neill said that while the jury will be sequestered, they will be allowed to use their cell phones, watch television and use other devices that they normally would.

Three jurors, two white men and one white woman, were selected.

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

He also said that they'd still have to abide by their sworn oath not to form any opinions, talk to anyone about the case and reach a decision based on evidence presented in court only.

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