An attorney for Andrea Constand, who accused Cosby of the 2004 sex assault that has become the first case to result in criminal charges against Bill Cosby, praised prosecutors Wednesday for the decision to charge the comedian.
"She feels that they believe her, and to any victim, that is foremost in your mind: 'Are people going to believe me?'" Dolores Troiani said on behalf of Constand on Wednesday, after news of Cosby's aggravated indecent assault charges broke.
Cosby was released on $1 million bail before 3 p.m. and driven home shortly afterward, without offering any comment. His attorneys said hours later that they believed the comedian will be exonerated of the charges, which they called "unjust."
But Troiani offered her thanks for filing the charges to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office in a prepared statement, and for "the consideration and courtesy they have shown Andrea during this difficult time."
And while Troiani said that Constand was "gratified with the overwhelming positive response to today's events," and that several other women with "heart-wrenching accounts" of their own had reached out to her, she did lament that the charges took more than a decade to be brought.
"Naturally it is troubling that it took until the eleventh hour for this day to arrive," Troiani said. "She is hopeful that her patience has encouraged other victims to come forward."
Several other women who have also accused Cosby of sexual abuse and assault had mixed emotions at the news of his criminal charges. NBC Nightly News' Kate Snow, who interviewed many of the women for a special earlier this year, said it has been a "long journey" for Cosby's accusers. Some met the charges with relief, while the news stirred past pain in others.
"Tears, jumps for joy, thought this day would never come, etc.," accuser Linda Cooper Kirkpatrick told Snow today in a message, according to NBC News. "I feel again, vindication. I've lost friends over my 'coming out' and to them I say I shall forgive."
Cosby and his representatives have previously repeatedly denied all allegations. Prior to this, he had never been charged with any crime regarding the allegations.
In the Philadelphia area, where Cosby has roots, reactions to Cosby's criminal charges varied.
Paul Smith, who grew up in the city, said he recalls "urban myths" about Cosby always swirling.
"Growing up in Philadelphia, there had always been these little stories, urban myths, that these things were going on," Smith said.
Kyra Stauts, who attends Rutgers University in Camden, said she wasn't fully sold on all the allegations against the long-beloved comedian.
"It's hard to believe that all these people were really victims," Stauts said. "But at the same time, some of them have to be telling the truth."
Davonna Parsons, of Logan, said she's still a Cosby fan, and that she doesn't believe the allegations against him.
"I don't think they have evidence for anything," Parsons said. "I think they just try to get people the best way that they can."
Though she said she's also a longtime Cosby fan herself, Deborah Kosak, of Swarthmore, said she tends to believe the accusations.
"I've always been personally a Cosby fan," Kosak said. "But again, legends, themselves, are humans."