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Bill Cosby departs after a pretrial hearing in his sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

A judge agreed to change the jury pool for Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial


A judge agreed Monday to change the jury pool for Bill Cosby's trial for alleged criminal sexual assault. 

Judge Steven O’Neill in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, ruled against moving Cosby's trial out of the suburbs but agreed to have the jurors picked from elsewhere. 

Cosby's defense lawyers tried to argue that he cannot receive a fair trial in Montgomery County. 

Bill Cosby Sex Abuse Scandal: A Timeline
Bill Cosby Sex Abuse Scandal

"Unless you've been living under a rock the message has been Bill Cosby is guilty and is a serial rapist," the comedian's lawyer Brian McMonagle said. 

McMonagle added that he doesn't think there's a place in the U.S. where Cosby could receive a fair trial at this point. 

Prosecutors responded to the defense's request, accusing them of trying to shop for a jury. 

District Attorney Kevin Steele called the defense's pretrial publicity argument a "red herring" and added that Cosby couldn't expect to find a jury anywhere that's "oblivious" to the assault accusations against him. 

"He's not entitled to a jury that is ignorant of the facts surrounding his case," Steele wrote. "The publicity that necessarily follows the rich and famous cannot insulate them from prosecution."

Prosecutors did not object to bringing in a jury from outside the Pennsylvania suburbs. 

O'Neill said jurors will remain sequestered during the June trial, where Cosby will face charges that he drugged and molested a former Temple University employee. 

The judge previously limited the number of accusers the prosecution can call to testify at the trial. Prosecutors wanted to call 13 more women to the stand, but O'Neill ruled Friday that only one of those accusers can testify. Cosby's trial is scheduled to begin June 5. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


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