Bill Cosby Trial
Bill Cosby's retrial struggles to find unbiased jurors
Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial began in Pennsylvania on Monday, beginning with jury selection and the revelation of the five additional accusers who will testify against the comedian. Cosby's original trial ended with a hung jury last June, after jurors could not unanimously agree on charges that the comedian drugged and sexually assaulted plaintiff Andrea Constand.
The accusations against Cosby received substantial attention and media coverage, making it difficult to find a pool of new jurors for this second trial who don't already have an opinion about the case, The Associated Press reports. All but 10 of the 120 people screened Monday said they had prior knowledge of Cosby's case, and more than half said they'd already made up their minds about his culpability. Prosecutors and defense attorneys also asked about the #MeToo movement, which legal experts told AP would likely influence the selection process.
In the first trial, only Constand was allowed to allege sexual assault; this time, accusers who would otherwise be outside the statute of limitations for criminal charges will be included. The Daily Beast cross-referenced court documents with public statements to report that former models Janice Dickinson, Lisa Lotte-Lublin, and Chelan Lasha will appear in the retrial, along with Janice Baker-Kinney and Heidi Thomas, all of whom allege that Cosby drugged and assaulted them in the 1980s.
Cosby has pleaded not guilty to the charges.