A judge on Monday agreed to a request by an attorney for Bill Cosby to bring in a jury from outside Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, for the entertainer’s trial for alleged criminal sexual assault.
Judge Steven O’Neill in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, however, denied the Cosby lawyer’s other request to change the venue of the trial, which will be held in Norristown in Montgomery County.
Cosby is charged with three counts of felony-aggravated indecent assault over an alleged decade-old incident-involving accuser Andrea Constand. He has pleaded not guilty.
His defense attorney, Brian McMonagle, asked for both a change of venue and venire – the location from which the jury pool is drawn, citing a need for a more racially and socioeconomically diverse population from which to draw jurors. The entertainer’s defense lawyers also said that media coverage has already convicted Cosby in the “court of public opinion.” And, the defense said the Montgomery County courthouse has a history of prejudice against Cosby.
The defense proposed Philadelphia and Allegheny counties, the state’s most urban areas, as the site for the trial and selecting a jury.
But prosecutors argued that the defense argument was “not just short on law, but short on logic.” The prosecution said it was comfortable with changing the location from which to draw the jury pool but not the site for the trial.
Judge O’ Neill ruled, “Wherein the parties agree media coverage has been pervasive … The defendant’s request for a change of venire is granted by the agreement of the parties; change of venue as pleaded and argued is denied.”
The judge has not announced yet from which county the jury will come.