"He's not guilty," yelled a woman driving by the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, Monday evening.
On the steps of the courthouse, a scrum of cameras and reporters anxiously awaited a jury decision in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial. The sun set and a verdict hung in the balance, yet a small handful of Cosby supporters fluttered through the scene.
“I used to love Bill Cosby’s show. Rudy is my favorite,” said Norristown resident Nicole Molinaro.
“I liked ‘Little Bill’ on Nickelodeon,” her 9-year-old daughter, Tiffany, interjected.
The mother and daughter came straight to the courthouse when school let out early because of the heat wave. Despite the 95-degree temperature, the Molinaros stood firm behind their beloved comedian.
“We came two times last week,” the elder Molinaro said. “Everyone deserves a second chance.”
“That’s why I’m here,” her child said. “I have faith in Bill Cosby that he’s going to win instead of going to jail.”
Standing next to the duo was Philadelphia resident Ciera Pritchett.
Like the Molinaros, she came out to show support for one of her childhood idols. She hoped to catch a glimpse of Cosby before heading back to the air conditioned comfort of her car.
“He’s way too old,” she said. “They waited too long. I feel they need to free him and leave him alone.”
Ciera also grew up watching “The Cosby Show” and, like the handful of supporters waiting on a scorching summer day, she can’t reconcile a sexual predator with the lovable father on television.
“He’s my biggest inspiration,” she said. “He is a nice person. I don’t think he did that to that lady.”
Standing on the sidewalk huddled in the shade, Elizabeth McGrath from Florida tapped away on her smartphone. She has been living nearby for the past several months and frequents the downtown area of Norristown. Since the Cosby trial started she hasn’t missed a single day.
The crowd last week was more robust, she said. Most of those gathered were on team Cosby, but one protester carried a foam middle finger to the court. McGrath thought perhaps the demonstrator was on team Andrea Constand, the 44-year-old defendant who accused Cosby of drugging and molesting her in 2004.
McGrath doesn’t normally follow celebrity trials, but this time it’s personal, she said.
“I think enough is enough,” McGrath said. “It’s been going on for a long time. He’s still Uncle Bill in my eyes.”