Bill Cosby's Jury Is Set
2 of the 12 jurors chosen are black
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 25, 2017 12:23 AM CDT
Bill Cosby, center, pauses in the courtyard as attorney Angela Agrusa, right, makes a statement to the media, Wednesday, May 24, 2017, in Pittsburgh.   (Gene J. Puskar)
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(Newser) – The jury that will hear the sex assault case against Bill Cosby will include two black members among its 12 members in a case Cosby believes could be racially motivated. Prosecutors and the defense team on Wednesday also chose six alternate jurors, two of them black. "It's a terrific jury made up of people of all demographics," says Montgomery County DA Kevin Steele. "We're past this nonsense about the optics and things." Cosby's lawyers had complained that prosecutors were trying to keep black people off the jury with their seven strikes. The judge, though, found prosecutors had other valid reasons to strike two black women earlier this week. The jury makeup of 17% is higher than the 13% black population in Allegheny County.

Cosby thanked local officials and fans as he left the Pittsburgh courthouse Wednesday evening, including "all of the people who have come to see my shows," the AP reports. Half of the jury pool being questioned Wednesday said they'd formed an opinion on his guilt or innocence, while one knew Cosby or his family. One-third said they were more likely to believe police testimony, nearly one-fourth had been convicted of a crime, and nearly one-fifth said someone close to them had been sexually assaulted. Cosby, who is accused of drugging and molesting a woman at his home near Philadelphia in 2004, will go to trial June 5. He has called the encounter consensual.

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