Cleveland kidnapping victims wanted to avoid trial - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Cleveland kidnapping victims wanted to avoid trial

Posted: Updated:

CLEVELAND (AP) - Newly released documents show that three women held in a Cleveland house before escaping a year ago Tuesday all hoped to avoid a trial for their captor.

The documents released by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's office Monday say the women understood the need to put suspect Ariel Castro in prison for life.

The documents also indicate that the FBI and the Cleveland Police Department did not want the women to be re-traumatized by a trial.

The women were held for a decade before escaping after one of them broke through a screen door.

Castro pleaded guilty to hundreds of charges last year and committed suicide in prison shortly after beginning a life sentence.

The three women held captive in a Cleveland house before escaping a year ago Tuesday have spent their first year of freedom in nearly a decade learning to drive, taking boxing lessons and cherishing time with their families.

Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus both said in statements released Monday that they are thankful and growing in many ways.

Michelle Knight said in an interview on NBC's "Today" show Monday that she forgives the man who kidnapped and tortured her and the two others. She said Ariel Castro deserves forgiveness because she'd want to be forgiven if she did wrong, and "that's the way of life."

Tuesday is the anniversary of the escape from the house by Knight, Berry and DeJesus. Knight, 33, said she doesn't see much of the other two women, saying "we're all now living in our own way."

DeJesus was 14 when she was kidnapped by Castro. She said she's enjoying learning how to drive and use new technology. "I am spending time with my family and working with Amanda on a book that we are really excited about," she said.

Berry said the future is bright for her and thanked her family and friends for support.

"On this day, we decided that the right place for us to be was with other families who have gone through what our family has gone through," Berry said. "I want these families to know they will always have a special place in our hearts."

Knight - who has a book coming out Tuesday - said she's a singer who just recorded a song, and she's also training to be a boxer.

Knight said in the interview that she was surprised when Castro, who pleaded guilty in August, killed himself in prison, wondering "why would he hurt his children like that?"

Berry was 14, DeJesus was 16 and Knight was 20 when they disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004. They were rescued from Castro's run-down house May 6, 2013, after Berry broke through a screen door.

Berry and DeJesus are collaborating with two Washington Post reporters on a book due out next year. Charles Ramsey, the man credited with helping the women escape from the house, also has written a book.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • LocalMore>>

  • Fallen Sandusky officer memorialized

    Fallen Sandusky officer memorialized

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:17 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:17:48 GMT
    Memories of officer Andy Dunn are still fresh in the minds of his fellow Sandusky police officers."He was a fun loving guy," Sandusky police chief, John Orzech said.Now, three and a half years after his death, Dunn has an honor chair inside of the department. His name, the department badge and the date he was shot and killed in the line of duty are engraved into the wood."We feel blessed to have this chair in our roll call room to keep Andy's memory alive," Chief Orzech said. Tributes to thei...
    Memories of officer Andy Dunn are still fresh in the minds of his fellow Sandusky police officers."He was a fun loving guy," Sandusky police chief, John Orzech said.Now, three and a half years after his death, Dunn has an honor chair inside of the department. His name, the department badge and the date he was shot and killed in the line of duty are engraved into the wood."We feel blessed to have this chair in our roll call room to keep Andy's memory alive," Chief Orzech said. Tributes to thei...
  • Major construction project could tie up traffic

    Major construction project could tie up traffic

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:20 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:20:52 GMT
     A major construction project is about to start along State Route 420 in Wood County and that could mean delays for drivers, but ODOT hopes it will eventually clear up congestion.
     A major construction project is about to start along State Route 420 in Wood County and that could mean delays for drivers, but ODOT hopes it will eventually clear up congestion.
  • Olive Garden restaurants honor first responders with free lunch

    Olive Garden restaurants honor first responders with free lunch

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:13 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:13:04 GMT
    Workers at Olive Garden have developed an amazing relationship with the people who keep us safe. So they decided to honor police and fire with a free lunch.
    Workers at Olive Garden have developed an amazing relationship with the people who keep us safe. So they decided to honor police and fire with a free lunch.
  • RegionalMore>>

  • Farmers make proactive steps to reduce runoff

    Farmers make proactive steps to reduce runoff

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:36 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:36:19 GMT
    Many farmers have their soil professionally tested every year and they only add the recommended nutrients on their crops. They are doing what they can to keep chemicals out of the runoff.
    Many farmers have their soil professionally tested every year and they only add the recommended nutrients on their crops. They are doing what they can to keep chemicals out of the runoff.
  • Man found dead in barn fire, woman escapes

    Man found dead in barn fire, woman escapes

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:22 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:22:09 GMT
    One man is dead after an overnight barn fire in northern Monroe County.The sheriff's office says that barn went up in flames just before 1 a.m. Monday.It happened outside of Carelton, MI, near the intersection of Colf and Sumpter.Investigators say a 54-year-old lived in an apartment above the barn. His body was found inside.According to deputies, the man's girlfriend managed to get out alive, with burns on her hands and feet.The sheriff is waiting to release the man's identity until his famil...
    One man is dead after an overnight barn fire in northern Monroe County.The sheriff's office says that barn went up in flames just before 1 a.m. Monday.It happened outside of Carelton, MI, near the intersection of Colf and Sumpter.Investigators say a 54-year-old lived in an apartment above the barn. His body was found inside.According to deputies, the man's girlfriend managed to get out alive, with burns on her hands and feet.The sheriff is waiting to release the man's identity until his famil...
  • Body recovered, 8 rescued overnight in Indian Lake

    Body recovered, 8 rescued overnight in Indian Lake

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:01 AM EDT2014-09-01 15:01:12 GMT
    LAKEVIEW, Ohio (AP) - Authorities recovered the body of a 22-year-old man from a western Ohio lake after responding to a call about a sinking boat. An Ohio Department of Natural Resources statement says eight of the nine people on the boat were rescued. State watercraft officers say they received the call about a boat sinking on Indian Lake north of the Lakeview boat ramp around 12:30 a.m. Sunday. Crews from area fire departments had already safely pulled the eight people from the water when ...
    LAKEVIEW, Ohio (AP) - Authorities recovered the body of a 22-year-old man from a western Ohio lake after responding to a call about a sinking boat. An Ohio Department of Natural Resources statement says eight of the nine people on the boat were rescued. State watercraft officers say they received the call about a boat sinking on Indian Lake north of the Lakeview boat ramp around 12:30 a.m. Sunday. Crews from area fire departments had already safely pulled the eight people from the water when ...
  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Major construction project could tie up traffic

    Major construction project could tie up traffic

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:20 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:20:52 GMT
     A major construction project is about to start along State Route 420 in Wood County and that could mean delays for drivers, but ODOT hopes it will eventually clear up congestion.
     A major construction project is about to start along State Route 420 in Wood County and that could mean delays for drivers, but ODOT hopes it will eventually clear up congestion.
  • Early Head Start aims to offer services for whole family

    Early Head Start aims to offer services for whole family

    Monday, September 1 2014 5:44 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:44:51 GMT
    Students in Toledo's Head Start program are headed back to school soon. For the first time the program is being run by Toledo Public Schools.
    Students in Toledo's Head Start program are headed back to school soon. For the first time the program is being run by Toledo Public Schools.
  • Fallen Sandusky officer memorialized

    Fallen Sandusky officer memorialized

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:17 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:17:48 GMT
    Memories of officer Andy Dunn are still fresh in the minds of his fellow Sandusky police officers."He was a fun loving guy," Sandusky police chief, John Orzech said.Now, three and a half years after his death, Dunn has an honor chair inside of the department. His name, the department badge and the date he was shot and killed in the line of duty are engraved into the wood."We feel blessed to have this chair in our roll call room to keep Andy's memory alive," Chief Orzech said. Tributes to thei...
    Memories of officer Andy Dunn are still fresh in the minds of his fellow Sandusky police officers."He was a fun loving guy," Sandusky police chief, John Orzech said.Now, three and a half years after his death, Dunn has an honor chair inside of the department. His name, the department badge and the date he was shot and killed in the line of duty are engraved into the wood."We feel blessed to have this chair in our roll call room to keep Andy's memory alive," Chief Orzech said. Tributes to thei...

Area Events Calendar

See It, Shoot It, Send It!