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Philadelphia vigil held to protest Bill Cosby’s release from prison

Multiple women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault and their supporters gathered at Independence Mall in Philadelphia on Saturday night for a vigil to protest the release of the comic from prison. 

The group carried signs that read, “Bill Cosby: America’s Predator,” and, “Serial Rapist Cosby Freed = No Justice.”

The protest comes nearly two weeks after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Cosby’s 2018 sexual assault conviction.

At least three women who have accused Cosby of raping them – Lili Bernard, Stacey Pinkerton, and Victoria Valentino – were present at the vigil to make their voices heard, according to WCAU

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Bernard appeared alongside Cosby on The Cosby Show and accused him of raping her in the 1990s. 

“I have six children. I was trying to go about my morning as a mom,” Bernard told the Philadelphia Inquirer about how she felt upon learning Cosby was released on June 30. “I’m trying to gather myself, and I’m just sobbing.”

Comedian Bill Cosby, center, and spokesperson Andrew Wyatt, right, approach members of the media gathered outside Cosby’s home in Elkins Park, Pa., Wednesday, June 30, 2021, after Pennsylvania’s highest court overturned his sex assault conviction. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Valentino has also been vocal about how stunned she was when Cosby got out of prison. 

“I know that everybody’s devastated,” she told NPR on June 30 when Cosby was freed. “I know that everybody is infuriated. I feel personally, and I know that I can speak for all of us, that we’ve been thrown under the bus.”

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Cosby, meanwhile, maintained his innocence throughout his time in prison, tweeting the day that he was released that he “never changed my stance nor my story.”

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