Bill Cosby arrives for Day 2 of jury selection

FILE - In this combination of file photos, entertainer Bill Cosby pauses during an interview in Washington on November 6, 2014, and Andrea Constand poses for a photo i.

TMZ reports that Bill Cosby's sexual assault criminal trial started today with jury selection.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The panel that will decide Bill Cosby's fate in his sex assault trial began to take shape Monday with the selection of five jurors, three white men and two white women. Once jurors have been chosen in Pittsburgh, they will be transported to Norristown and sequestered after testimony begins.

The lawyers are studying each person's race, sex, age, occupation and interests to try to guess their inherent sympathies, experts said.

Thirteen years after a Temple University basketball team manager went to famous alumnus Bill Cosby's nearby home for career advice, her complaint that Cosby drugged and molested her that night will soon be a task for a Pennsylvania jury.

One-third of the potential jurors questioned in Bill Cosby's sex assault case Monday said they've formed opinions about his guilt or innocence while the majority said it would be hard to spend several weeks sequestered across the state.

Q: Why is the jury being picked in Pittsburgh? .

Cosby, in an interview last week, said race could be a motivating factor in the accusations against him.

34 said they had formed an opinion of guilty or innocent in the case already.

A third of the initial jury pool questioned Monday said they had an opinion about Cosby's guilt or innocence, and an equal number said they or someone close to them had been sexually assaulted.

35 admitted they or someone close to them had been the victim of sexual assault.

The pool of potential jurors is coming from Allegheny County because Cosby's attorneys argued that pretrial publicity would make it hard to find impartial jury candidates in Montgomery County, where Cosby lives. They also sought a jury pool from a more diverse, urban community.

Cosby, who entered the courtroom on the arm of an aide, using a cane and carrying a box of tissues, conferred with his three lawyers at the defence table.

The man said he could put that bias aside if instructed to do so, leading defense lawyers to accept him on the panel.

In a statement played on the radio show, his daughter, Ensa Cosby, said that "racism has played a big role in all aspects of the scandal".

Prosecutors plan to call another accuser, whose name has not yet been made public, to testify about her own allegations of sexual assault, as they strive to bolster Constand's account by showing that Cosby engaged in a pattern of criminal behavior. The defence rejected four yesterday, while prosecutors dismissed two. Each side can strike seven people from the jury and three alternates.

A black woman who said she knows only "basic information" about the case and a white man who initially expressed a tendency to believe police are now on the panel.

Only one woman, 43-year-old Andrea Constand, has successfully secured a trial.

Constand was 30 and dating a woman at the time, while Cosby was 66 and long married to wife Camille. She is one of more than 50 women to have come forward in recent years with allegations of sexual assault by Cosby, a portrait starkly at odds with the actor's longtime image as America's Dad.

Cosby was arrested December 30, 2015, days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired. He posted bail of $1 million in the case in December 2015.