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Cosby accusers and supporters go head-to-head outside courthouse

The 12-person jury remains in a deadlock within the courthouse.

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — As jurors remained deadlocked and deliberating inside the Montgomery County Courthouse, supporters of Bill Cosby went head-to-head with the comedian’s other accusers outside.

Judge Steven O’Neill urged jurors, who have deliberated for more than 30 hours this week, to try to reach an agreement on whether to charge Cosby on any or all three counts of aggravated sexual assault Thursday morning.

With the news of a deadlocked jury, supporters of the comedian gathered on the steps of the courthouse with homemade signs declaring Cosby’s innocence.

Their signs read, “Free Mr. Cosby now,” and, “There is no rape. She consent.” Other supporters chanted on the steps of the courthouse “There is no evidence” and  “Steele must go,” directed at Kevin Steele, the district attorney for Montgomery County since 2015.

The chants of Cosby’s supporters found their way to his other alleged sexual assault survivor sitting inside the courthouse, who then went outside to talk to the supporters.

Lili Bernard, a guest star on “The Cosby Show ”in 1992 and another alleged sexual assault survivor against Cosby, confronted a supporter of Cosby on the steps of the courthouse.

While holding hands with the man, Bernard told the supporter that she suffered from mental illness after Cosby assaulted her.

She said Cosby was, “disproportionately affecting Black women. Black women matter too.”

The supporters chanted and questioned why many of the survivors did not report the assaults to police immediately after they occurred.

“Cosby is innocent until proven guilty,” one supporter chanted after the encounter with Bernard.

Cosby has been charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault. Andrea Constand, the central accuser in the case against Cosby and former Temple director of operations for the women’s basketball team, alleged Cosby drugged and molested her in 2004.

Cosby sits in a room on the third floor of the courthouse as the jury continues to deliberate the charges brought against him.

Kelly Brennan can be reached at kelly.brennan@temple.edu or on Twitter @_kellybrennan.

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