'I don't know whether to laugh, cry or dance': Cosby accusers react to sentencing

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Victoria Valentino was so overwhelmed with emotion on Tuesday afternoon that she began to shake.

Bill Cosby, the man she alleges drugged and raped her in 1969, was finally going to prison.

"There's so much emotion going on, I don't know whether to laugh, cry or dance," Valentino said outside the courthouse here after Cosby, 81, was sentenced to three to 10 years.

The disgraced comedian, who has been denied bail, was convicted in April of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, a former Temple University women's basketball administrator.

"This is the pinnacle," said Valentino, 75, as she recounted seeing Cosby, wearing "baggy trousers and suspenders," being led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.

"I can't even find words to describe ... I think we all stood there and cried," Valentino said, referring to the other accusers who had assembled at the courthouse.

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Bill Cosby's sentencing hearing
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Bill Cosby's sentencing hearing
Comedian Bill Cosby is taken into custody in handcuffs at Montgomery County Courthouse September 25, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania, after being sentenced to at least three years in prison and branded a 'sexually violent predator' for assaulting a woman at his Philadelphia mansion 14 years ago. - The 81-year-old, once beloved by millions as 'America's Dad,' is the first celebrity convicted and sentenced for a sex crime since the downfall of Harvey Weinstein ushered in the #MeToo movement and America's reckoning with sexual harassment. (Photo by POOL / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read POOL/AFP/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Actor/stand-up comedian Bill Cosby is taken out of to the Montgomery County Courthouse to state prison in shackles after being Sentenced To 3 To 10 Years In Prison For Sexual Assault Conviction at the Montgomery County Courthouse on September 25, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Bill Cosby accuser model Janice Dickinson, 63, exits the courtroom for lunch at the Montgomery County Courthouse on the second day of sentencing in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial on September 25, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. In April, Cosby was found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004 and faces a maximum of 10 years in prison. 60 women have accused the 81 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Bill Cosby accuser model Janice Dickinson, 63, exits the courtroom for lunch at the Montgomery County Courthouse on the second day of sentencing in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial on September 25, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. In April, Cosby was found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004 and faces a maximum of 10 years in prison. 60 women have accused the 81 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
US Entertainer Bill Cosby arrives for a scenting hearing in Norristown, PA, on September 25, 2018. Cosby appears before Judge Steven O'Neil after a jury found the 81 year old entertainer guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault in a April 2018 retrial. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Actor and Comedian Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse for sentencing in his sexual assault trial, in Norristown, Pennsylvania, U..S. September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
NORRISTOWN, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Actor/stand-up comedian Bill Cosby arrives for sentencing for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse on September 25, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Actor/stand-up comedian Bill Cosby arrives for sentencing for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse on September 25, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - SEPTEMBER 24: (C) Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse on the first day of sentencing in his sexual assault trial on September 24, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. In April, Cosby was found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. 60 women have accused the 80 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - SEPTEMBER 24: outside the Montgomery County Courthouse on the first day of sentencing in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial on September 24, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. In April, Cosby was found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. 60 women have accused the 80 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Andrea Constand arrives at the sentencing hearing for the sexual assault trial of entertainer Bill Cosby at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania on September 24, 2018. - Disgraced US television icon Bill Cosby returned to a Pennsylvania court on Monday to face sentencing for sexual assault, five months after his conviction at the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era. The frail 81-year-old -- once beloved as 'America's Dad' -- faces a maximum potential sentence of 30 years for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia mansion in January 2004.The pioneering comedian and award-winning actor was found guilty April 26 on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison. (Photo by David MAIALETTI / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read DAVID MAIALETTI/AFP/Getty Images)
Former model Janice Dickinson arrives at the sentencing hearing for the sexual assault trial of entertainer Bill Cosby at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania on September 24, 2018. - Disgraced US television icon Bill Cosby returned to a Pennsylvania court on Monday to face sentencing for sexual assault, five months after his conviction at the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era. The frail 81-year-old -- once beloved as 'America's Dad' -- faces a maximum potential sentence of 30 years for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia mansion in January 2004.The pioneering comedian and award-winning actor was found guilty April 26 on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison. (Photo by David MAIALETTI / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read DAVID MAIALETTI/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - US actor Bill Cosby arrives at court on September 24, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania to face sentencing for sexual assault. - Disgraced US television icon Bill Cosby returned to a Pennsylvania court on Monday to face sentencing for sexual assault, five months after his conviction at the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era. The frail 81-year-old -- once beloved as 'America's Dad' -- faces a maximum potential sentence of 30 years for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia mansion in January 2004.The pioneering comedian and award-winning actor was found guilty April 26 on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - SEPTEMBER 24: Actor/stand-up comedian Bill Cosby arrives for sentencing for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse on September 24, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - SEPTEMBER 24: Actor/stand-up comedian Bill Cosby arrives for sentencing for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse on September 24, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
Activist Bird Milliken protest outside the Montgomery County Courthouse with a puppet and soap bulbs as she waits the arrival of Bill Cosby for his scenting hearing, in Norristown, PA, on September 24, 2018. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
US Entertainer Bill Cosby arrives for a scenting hearing at the Montgomery County Courthouse, in Norristown, PA, on September 24, 2018. Cosby appears before Judge Steven O'Neil after a jury found the 81 year old entertainer guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault in a April 2018 retrial. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Actor and Comedian Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse for sentencing in his sexual assault trial in Norristown, Pennsylvania on September 24, 2018. - Disgraced US television icon Bill Cosby returned to a Pennsylvania court on Monday to face sentencing for sexual assault, five months after his conviction at the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era. The frail 81-year-old -- once beloved as 'America's Dad' -- faces a maximum potential sentence of 30 years for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia mansion in January 2004.The pioneering comedian and award-winning actor was found guilty April 26 on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison. (Photo by DAVID MAIALETTI / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read DAVID MAIALETTI/AFP/Getty Images)
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Lili Bernard, one of dozens of other women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault, said she felt "jubilation" on Tuesday afternoon. (Cosby, who has repeatedly denied all allegations of sexual misconduct, was only criminally charged in Constand's case.)

Speaking outside the courthouse, Bernard hailed what she characterized as a "new day in rape culture, a new day in the women's movement, a new day for feminism." She also applauded the judge in the case.

The judge, Steven O'Neill, used harsh language when sentencing Cosby, ruling earlier Tuesday that the former sitcom dad is a "sexually violent predator."

"Nobody is above the law because of where they live, who they are, wealth, fame, celebrity or even philanthropy," O'Neill later said, adding: "Your time has come."

Cosby's time in prison is "not only going to make the community of this Norristown County a safer place, it's going to make the nation a safer place," said Bernard, who alleges she was drugged and raped while guest-starring on "The Cosby Show" in the early 1990s.

Image: US-ENTERTAINMENT-TELEVISION-COSBY-COURT

Constand, 45, was given a chance to speak during a hearing on Monday, but she addressed the court for less than two minutes. In a victim impact statement released Tuesday, however, Constand excoriated the man she alleges derailed her life.

"Bill Cosby took my beautiful, healthy young spirit and crushed it," she wrote. "He robbed me of my health and vitality, my open nature, and my trust in myself and others."

Gloria Allred, who represents some of Cosby's accusers, stood alongside them in the rain on Tuesday afternoon and recognized the "long journey to justice."

"We're glad the judgement day has finally come for Mr. Cosby," Allred said.

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