Victims in US kidnap case won't give interviews yet | Inquirer News

Victims in US kidnap case won’t give interviews yet

/ 11:38 PM May 12, 2013

Photos show Amanda Berry (L) and Georgina DeJesus (R), both who went missing as teenagers about a decade ago and were found alive May 6 in a residential area of Cleveland, Ohio, not far from where they were last seen. A third woman, Michelle Knight, was also found in the same house. AFP/FBI

CHICAGO — The three US women freed after a 10-year ordeal of beatings and rape by their kidnapper said Sunday they will not give any interviews until after the criminal proceedings are completed.

In a statement read by a lawyer for the victims, Jim Wooley, the women said they were happy to be home and needed time to heal.


“I’m so happy to be home and want to thank everybody for all your prayers. I just want time now to be with my family,” said 23-year-old Gina DeJesus, according to the statement.


Amanda Berry, 27, offered similar words, while Michelle Knight, 32, said she was “healthy, happy and safe and will reach out to family, friends and supporters in good time.”

But Wooley said, despite “numerous requests” for interviews, the three women would stay silent for now.

“First, there is a pending criminal investigation and prosecution,” he said, adding the three women were “victims and witnesses.”

“It is not in the best interests of anyone connected with that proceeding for Ms. Berry, Ms. DeJesus, and Ms. Knight to be making statements to the media while that proceeding is pending.”

And he added, “Second, and most importantly, Ms. Berry, Ms. DeJesus, and Ms. Knight have asked — in fact, have pleaded — for privacy at this time so that they can continue to heal and reconnect with their families.

“You all care greatly about their well-being, so please respect this most basic request. Give them the time, the space, and the privacy so that they can continue to get stronger.”


The three women were freed on Monday after Berry called out to a neighbor who then kicked in the door to the suspect’s home in Cleveland, Ohio to rescue her and the daughter — now six — she bore during her captivity.

DeJesus and Knight were found when police searched the house.

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Ariel Castro, 52, has been charged with kidnapping and raping the women. He was ordered held on an $8 million bond and prosecutors say they plan to charge him with the aggravated murder of unborn babies the women lost during beatings, a crime that could carry the death penalty.

TAGS: Amanda Berry, Cleveland, Crime, Gina DeJesus, Kidnapping

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