Bill Cosby arrives for jury selection in criminal trial

(ABC News) — Bill Cosby arrived at a Pittsburgh court this morning in advance of jury selection for his criminal trial, which is slated for next month in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

The comedian walked into the Allegheny County Courthouse in downtown Pittsburgh just before 9 a.m.

In late February, Judge Steven O’Neill granted a request made by Cosby’s legal team to bring in a jury from outside Montgomery County, which the defense argued would allow for a more diverse group.

The next month, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor ruled that the jury should come from Allegheny County.

Cosby, 79, has been charged with felony aggravated indecent assault stemming from an alleged encounter with accuser Andrea Constand. He has pleaded not guilty.

Constand claims that in 2004, when she was the director of the women’s basketball team at the comedian’s alma mater, Temple University, he invited her to his home, where he drugged and molested her. She went to police a year later, but the district attorney at the time declined to bring charges against Cosby. Constand then filed a civil lawsuit, which was settled confidentially and sealed in 2006. However, prior to that, Cosby gave depositions, portions of which the Associated Press successfully petitioned to have unsealed about a decade later.

During the deposition, Cosby admitted to giving Quaaludes to a woman with whom he wanted to have sex. Though McMonagle argued that those comments have nothing to do with Constand, O’Neill ruled that they would be admissible in the trial. By contrast, he decided that jokes Cosby made about Spanish fly, rumored to be an aphrodisiac, are not.

Cosby also said during the deposition that he did have a sexual encounter with Constand, maintaining that she had mischaracterized what happened. The drug he gave her, he claimed, was Benadryl.

“I don’t hear her say anything. And I don’t feel her say anything,” he said. “And so I continue and I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection. I am not stopped.”

In 2015, shortly before the statute of limitations expired, a new district attorney charged Cosby with sexual assault. The comedian unsuccessfully petitioned to have it dismissed.

The trial is set to begin on June 5. Cosby faces up to 10 years in jail and a $25,000 fine if he’s convicted.