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Prosecutors and the defence began the hard task of picking a jury for Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial 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 prosecution says it's a flawed charge because two African Americans have already been picked for the jury.

Constand took the stand during Cosby's 2017 trial, which ended with a hung jury following some 60 hours of deliberation. All told, 12 jurors will be chosen along with six alternates.

The racial and gender makeup of this jury is identical to the one that failed to reach a verdict in last year's trial.

Bill Cosby's lawyers are alleging a member of the prosecution team made a disparaging remark after prosecutors removed a black woman from consideration as a prospective juror in the comedian's sexual assault retrial. Prosecutors did not have to give a reason for wanting her removed.

Two of the seated jurors are African American.

The judge says he doesn't believe the prosecution had any "discriminatory intent" but halted Wednesday's proceeding to read a defense brief. All but one juror said that they have previous knowledge of the allegations against Cosby, but this would not stop them from being a fair juror. Dickinson, now 63, has alleged that Cosby drugged her, rendering her unconscious, and sexually assaulted her when she was 27.

This item has been corrected to fix the spelling of Feden's name. Prosecutors initially asked the judge to allow testimony from a total of 19 women, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported, but were told to select five of eight.

The prosecution and defense each have seven peremptory challenges they can use to excuse a juror, other than for cause, during the selection process.




DelRicci refused to make room in the crowded courtroom for a pool reporter, but said if the jury pool did not fill the room to capacity, he'd allow reporters to attend live.

Bill Cosby (center) is escorted into the Montgomery County Courthouse on Friday morning.

On Monday, nearly all of the 120 jurors said they have knowledge of the Me Too Movement and allegations of sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry.

The ruling to allow Margo Jackson's testimony came on the second day of jury selection for the second trial where the 80-year-old entertainer will face charges that he sexually assaulted a staffer more than a decade ago at his alma mater, Temple University in Philadelphia. One juror said the panel was split 10-2 in favor of conviction, while another said the group was more evenly divided.

The former TV star once known as America's Dad for his portrayal of kindly Dr Cliff Huxtable on his NBC hit The Cosby Show was in the courtroom as jury selection got under way.

Seven jurors have been picked so far.

O'Neill also ruled on Tuesday that the jurors can hear how much money Cosby paid Constand to settle her 2006 civil lawsuit.

Judge Steven O'Neill on Tuesday granted the Cosby team's request to call a woman who says accuser Andrea Constand talked about framing a celebrity before she lodged allegations against the comedian in 2005. She has said Constand once commented to her about setting up a "high-profile person" and filing suit. In the deposition for that case, Cosby admitted to buying Quaaludes and giving women drugs and alcohol before sex - but he said every interaction was consensual, including with Constand.


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