CLEVELAND (AP) — Three women who police say were held captive in a Cleveland home for about a decade have issued a video in which they thanked the public for the encouragement and financial support that are allowing them to restart their lives.
Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight broke their public silence in the 3-minute, 30-second video posted Monday night on YouTube. They said the support and prayers of family, friends and the public are allowing them to rebuild their lives after what Berry called ‘‘this entire ordeal.’’
The women had gone missing separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16, and 20 years old.
In the video, none of the women had any visible scars of the abuse they said they suffered at the hands of Ariel Castro, who has pleaded not guilty to a 329-count indictment alleging he kidnapped them off the streets and held them captive in his two-story home. They were smiling and appeared upbeat.
Castro, a 52-year-old former bus driver, fathered a 6-year-old daughter with Berry and is accused of starving and punching Knight, causing her to miscarry. He was arrested May 6, shortly after Berry broke through a door at the home and yelled to neighbors for help.
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