Many women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault were both surprised and relieved this week when they learned that the actor and comedian had been arrested on felony assault charges, the first time Cosby has faced a criminal case after years of allegations that he drugged and assaulted women.
“I think I can speak for all of us and say we are thrilled,” Heidi Thomas told CNN. “Many of us, myself included, really didn’t think he’d see the inside of a courtroom because of his power and his influence and his money.”
“Shocked. And happy. Prayers answered,” Kaya Thompson said of her reaction.
Patricia Steuer told CNN she was with her husband in public when she found out Cosby had been arrested. “I just put my arms around him and stood there and cried,” she said.
Victoria Valentino also said she cried when she saw Cosby’s mugshot. “I just want him to stand up and tell the truth and take it like a man,” she said. “I want the truth to come out. I want justice to be served, and I want justice to prevail for all of the women, all of these victims, who have suffered watching him receive accolades all these years while they were suffering the consequences of PTSD from their encounters with him.”
At least 50 women have publicly accused Cosby of sexual assault. Cosby denies the allegations.
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Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.Rogers@time.com