WATCH IT: Women Held Hostage For Years In Cleveland Home Release Video Statement
CLEVELAND (AP) - Three women held captive in a Cleveland home for a decade are thanking the public for their support in a YouTube video.
Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight broke their public silence in the video posted late Monday, saying the encouragement of family, friends and the public has enabled them to restart their lives.
Former bus driver Ariel Castro has pleaded not guilty to a 329-count indictment alleging he kidnapped the women off the streets between 2002 and 2004 and held them captive in his two-story home.
He 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.
About the video:
Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight would like to say thank you to people from Cleveland and across the world who have offered support to them. They are extremely grateful for the tremendous outpouring of kindness they have received and wished to put voices and faces to their heartfelt messages with this video.
The women still maintain a strong desire for privacy and ask that everyone continue to respect their wishes in that regard going forward. Thank you.
:00 - :33 Amanda Berry (Survivor)
:43 - :47 Gina DeJesus (Survivor)
:49 - 1:08 Felix DeJesus (Gina's Father)
1:09 -- 1:43 Nancy Ruiz (Gina's Mother)
1:48 -- 3:30 Michelle Knight (Survivor)
NOTES ABOUT THE VIDEO THANK-YOU
The video was filmed on July 2, 2013 at the law offices of Jones Day in Cleveland, Ohio. Visible in the background of the video is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. The male off-camera voice heard in the video is that of Howard Fencl (pronounced FEHN-sill), vice president of Hennes Paynter Communications. The attorneys, public relations firm, social media strategist and videographer involved in the production of this video are all working pro bono on behalf of the three women.
For information about the Cleveland Courage Fund, established to help survivors Michelle Knight, Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Amanda's daughter, please visit www.clevelandcouragefund.org.
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