An arrest warrant was issued for The Cosby Show actor on Wednesday (30Dec15) after authorities reopened a criminal investigation into accusations filed by Andrea Constand almost 12 years ago.

In her civil suit, Constand claimed the funnyman drugged and sexually abused her at his mansion in Pennsylvania in January, 2004. No criminal charges were filed at the time, and the case was settled out of court in 2006.

However, the lawsuit was dragged up again by the media last year (14), after dozens of other women went public with similar, decades-old accusations of inappropriate behaviour, including charges of being drugged and raped, prompting officials to revisit Constand's case and charge the comedian with aggravated indecent assault - just days before the 12-year statute of limitations expires.

Constand's lawyer, Dolores Troiani, praised prosecutors following the news, and now a handful of other accusers have also addressed the new development, including the wife of The Incredible Hulk TV star Lou Ferrigno.

Carla Ferrigno, who claims she was just a teenager when Cosby reportedly approached her at a party in 1967 and grabbed her and forcibly kissed her, tells TMZ.com, "(I'm) very, very, very happy that finally someone brought this down. I am pleased he will finally have consequences for his behaviour. God bless Andrea."

Writer Sammie Mays, who alleges Cosby attacked her in 1986, adds, "I nearly lost faith this day might never happen... Any prison is good enough as long as I see him behind bars. Please don't let him die without being convicted because it will save his reputation."

"I believe that now people are now seeing him for what he really is," states Sarita Butterfield, another accuser, before sharing a few pointed words for Cosby's wife, Camille, who has stood by her husband throughout the multiple sex scandals.

"If I could tell his wife something, I would tell her, 'Shame on you for being an accessory to his criminal act,'" Butterfield continues. "She should be charged also as an accomplice."

Cosby's deposition in Constand's civil suit was made public earlier this year (15), and in the testimony, he confessed to buying sedatives to give to women he wanted to sleep with.