A jury of seven men and five women — only two of them black — is expected to decide Bill Cosby’s fate at his upcoming sexual assault trial in Pennsylvania.
A black man and a white woman were added as jurors No. 11 and 12 Wednesday for a June 5 trial where race and gender will likely become important themes.
Cosby’s defense team previously accused the prosecution of racial bias because it struck the addition of a second black woman to the main panel.
A white male juror picked Monday was let go earlier Wednesday for undisclosed personal reasons. He was replaced by the white woman.
After finalizing the main panel, lawyers also settled on three of six alternates Wednesday — two of them being black.
The jurors and alternates will travel from Pittsburgh to suburban Philadelphia to be sequestered at Cosby’s trial, which is expected to last two weeks.
The alternates will only join deliberations if they’re needed to replace members of main jury who can’t fulfill their service.
Cosby, 79, is accused of luring ex-Temple University staffer Andrea Constand, 44, to his Elkins Park, Pa., mansion in 2004 under the false pretense of mentorship.
Prosecutors say Cosby gave her three blue pills and wine to help her “relax,” then sexually assaulted her on a couch as her vision blurred, her legs turned “rubbery” and she began fading “in and out.”
Cosby has pleaded not guilty to three charges of aggravated indecent assault, claiming any sexual contact or drug consumption was consensual. Each charge carries up to 10 years in prison.
Montgomery County prosecutors originally declined to bring a case against Cosby when Constand first contacted authorities more than a decade ago.
They reversed that decision and filed charges in December 2015 after scores of women stepped forward with allegations of sexual assault.
Constand is expected to take the stand during the trial. The judge said he’ll also allow testimony from a second woman who says she was sexually assaulted by Cosby in a similar fashion.
“I’m hoping — and praying — he’s found guilty, as he should be,” Beth Ferrier, one of Cosby’s many accusers not involved in the court proceeding, told the Daily News last week. “I hold him accountable for destroying so many lives.”
Cosby said in a radio interview last week he will not testify in his own defense.
He suggested racism and revenge motivated the “nefarious” allegations against him.
With News Wire Services