The Latest: Judge tosses ex-DA’s suit against Cosby accuser

Bill Cosby
The Associated Press

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial (all times local):

4 p.m.

A Philadelphia judge has thrown out a former prosecutor’s defamation lawsuit against the accuser in the Bill Cosby sexual assault case.

Judge Ann Butchart on Tuesday dismissed the lawsuit against Andrea Constand and two of her lawyers by Bruce Castor Jr.

Castor claimed Constand and her lawyers harmed his reputation and cost him a chance to return as district attorney by criticizing him and suing him for defamation days before the 2015 election.

Castor was DA in 2005 when Constand first told police that Cosby had drugged and molested her. Castor ended his investigation into Cosby after four weeks, announcing the comedian wouldn’t be charged because the evidence showed both parties “could be held in less than a flattering light.”

Castor’s lawsuit said Cosby paid Constand “well into the millions of dollars” in a civil settlement.


3:05 p.m.

A middle-aged black man and a middle-aged white woman are the first two alternate jurors picked in the Bill Cosby sexual assault retrial.

The man said Thursday he believes he can set aside what he’s heard about the Cosby case, but hesitated and couldn’t guarantee it when pressed by the judge. But prosecutors and Cosby’s lawyers both found him acceptable.

The woman said she could put aside her thoughts that Cosby is guilty.

Four more alternates have to be seated to round out the panel of 12 jurors and six alternates.

Thursday marked the fourth day of jury selection.

Cosby is charged with drugging a woman at his home in the Philadelphia suburbs, then sexually assaulting her. He says the 2004 encounter was consensual.


12:45 p.m.

A majority of jurors summoned as potential alternates for Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial say they’ve already formed an opinion on the comedian’s guilt or innocence, and three-quarters of them say it would be a hardship to serve.

Judge Steven O’Neill questioned a group of 120 prospective jurors as jury selection continues for a fourth day Thursday. Two prior groups yielded the 12 jurors needed for the main jury.

Six alternate slots still need to be filled.

All but a few people in the alternate pool said they had seen something in the news about the Cosby case and the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct.

Cosby is charged with drugging and molesting a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He says the encounter was consensual.


8:45 a.m.

With a slight stumble, comedian Bill Cosby has arrived for the fourth day of jury selection in his retrial on sexual assault charges.

Cosby stumbled a bit getting out of an SUV on Thursday and then put a hand up to say he was OK before walking into the suburban Philadelphia courthouse where lawyers will work to pick six alternate jurors.

Prosecutors and the defense settled Wednesday on the last five of the 12 jurors who will sit in judgment of the 80-year-old comedian. One juror was chosen Monday and six on Tuesday.

Cosby is charged with drugging and molesting a former Temple University athletics administrator at his home in 2004.

The judge last June declared a mistrial after more than 52 hours of jury deliberations over six days. One juror said the panel was split 10-2 in favor of conviction, while another said the group was more evenly divided.


12:10 a.m.

The jury picked to decide Bill Cosby’s fate in the first big trial of the #MeToo era mirrors the gender and racial makeup of the group that deadlocked in last year’s trial.

There are seven men and five women. Ten are white, two are black.

Jury selection resumes for a fourth day on Thursday as the prosecution and defense work to select six alternates.

Race dominated Wednesday’s selection process.

Cosby’s lawyers alleged a member of the prosecution team made a disparaging remark after prosecutors rejected one of the few black women considered for the case.

District Attorney Kevin Steele rejected the allegations. He said prosecutors had no problem seating the two other black people who had appeared for individual questioning.

The defense never revealed what they claim was said and agreed to pick more jurors.