Amid deliberations over a rogue juror, protesters stood outside lobbying for justice in many different ways.
Officers detained a protester interrupting the arrival of Bill Cosby at sexual assault trial on April 9, 2018. Photo by Diane Desobeau/Getty Images.
A suburban Philadelphia courthouse heard opening arguments in Bill Cosby’s retrial on charges of sexual assault on April 10, after being delayed by concerns of a rogue juror. Judge Steven T. O’Neil pushed back opening arguments to consider the defense’s claims that one juror had been speaking with others about Cosby’s guilt. O’Neill later decided the juror could remain but said little else about his decision. Cosby faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault surrounding a 2004 encounter with a Temple University employee.
Protesters representing the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements, as well as the National Organization of Women, have been peacefully demonstrating outside the courthouse where the trial is taking place.
Among the protesters on Monday, April 9, was Nicolle Rochelle, a former child actor who appeared in episodes of “The Cosby Show.” Rochelle jumped a barricade as Cosby entered the courthouse, taking off her shirt to bare handwritten feminist calls to action and the names of Cosby’s accusers.
After being arrested for disorderly conduct, Rochelle spoke with reporters regarding her time working with Cosby. While she claims she had no “bad experiences” working with him, the former actress stressed it’s “mathematically obvious” he’s guilty due to the number of independent allegations against him.
Rochelle explained her actions outside the courthouse as symbolic, stating, “I can use my body as a political statement and not just a sexual object, like he did to other women. I wanted to show him that I was not disempowered.”
A group of Cosby’s accusers have been holding nightly vigils outside the courthouse to share their horrific experiences and hope for justice.