Allegheny County will supply jurors for Cosby trial
March 13, 2017 5:31 PM
Mel Evans/Associated Press
Bill Cosby leaves after a hearing in his sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa.
Allegheny County will be supply the juror pool for the upcoming Bill Cosby sex assault trial.
A court order issued Monday by the state Supreme Court will allow for the local jury to sit on Mr. Cosby’s trial this spring in Norristown.
In February, Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Steven T. O’Neill ruled that the trial would remain in Montgomery County, but with jurors from outside the county. In his ruling, Judge O’Neill cited pervasive local media coverage of the case.
“No matter where we go, I have a feeling that [the media] will follow,” he said.
Prosecutors did not oppose the idea of bringing in an outside jury, but pushed back against Mr. Cosby’s additional request to move the trial from Norristown altogether — a move defense attorney Brian J. McMonagle called “the best of the worst alternatives.”
He railed against the voracious media coverage of the case, accusing reporters and pundits of declaring themselves “judge, jury and executioner of Mr. Cosby’s reputation” and asserting it was impossible for his client to receive a fair trial anywhere in the country.
You or a neighbor may be sitting on the jury hearing charges of aggravated indecent assault against Bill Cosby. https://t.co/s5tozAQTEg
Nevertheless, Mr. McGonagle held out hope that a county with an almost inexhaustible supply of potential jurors might help in selecting an impartial panel.
“No matter where we go … the national media has affected the entire state of Pennsylvania,” he said. “Unless you’ve been living under a rock in this state or in this country day after day for the last few years, the message that has been promoted is that Bill Cosby is guilty and that Bill Cosby is a serial rapist.”
Mr. Cosby is charged with aggravated indecent assault for allegedly drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his Cheltenham home in 2004.
NOTE: This story has been updated from the original to correct the court issuing the order.
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