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Yesterday, reports indicated that the jury selection for Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial had been stalled amid some racial slurs uttered by one of the prosecutors.

A major disagreement came in a challenge from Cosby's lawyers, who claimed that the prosecution had objected to the inclusion of a black woman on the jury because of her race. Both sides will be back in Montgomery County Court Thursday to select six alternate jurors.

The identities of the individuals remain unknown, but is made up of five women and seven men.

Cosby's lawyers had appeared ready to strike at the first instance of prosecutors blocking a black juror, producing a legal brief that argued the move violated a 32-year-old Supreme Court ruling that prohibits prosecutions from excluding prospective jurors due to their race.

The 12-person jury is made up of seven men and five women, which was the same breakdown of the jury during Cosby's first trial that ended in a mistrial in June.

Bill Cosby's second trial in the criminal case against him for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting Canadian professional basketball player Andrea Constand is set to begin next week and the social climate could not be more different from the last time.

As Wednesday's session got underway, a judge gave The Associated Press and other media organizations more access to jury selection. Since then, prosecutors have told Cosby's lawyers that Constand had modified her statement to admit she "recalls a Margo".

In recent years, dozens of women publicly accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, up to and including rape, but allegations go back decades, and the vast majority won't be adjudicated because of statutes of limitations. Numerous alleged sexual predators who've been called out have been powerful or famous men like Cosby. Prosecutors denied race had anything to do with it. Cosby is black.

All but one of the people in the initial group of potential jurors said they were aware of the #MeToo movement or the allegations it spurred against powerful entertainment figures.

Jury selection in Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial has been halted as the comedian's lawyers challenge the prosecution's decision to exclude a black woman from the jury. Defense lawyers say a member of the prosecution team was overheard making a disparaging remark after prosecutors used one of their challenges to have the woman dismissed as a potential juror. The camera shows the judge, prosecutors and defense lawyers, but not potential jurors who are being questioned as a group. Jackson, a former co-worker of Constand's at Temple University, will likely be called by the defense to paint Constand as a liar seeking fame and money from their well-known client.

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

Just 10 of about 240 prospective jurors questioned on the first three days of jury selection were black, or about 4.2 percent. The process resumes on Wednesday in suburban Philadelphia.

During the first trial, O'Neill ruled that Jackson's testimony would be hearsay after Constand testified she did not know the woman.

Ms Constand's lawyer has said Ms Jackson is not telling the truth.

AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.


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