Ohio kidnap victims kept diaries detailing torture - prosecutors
CLEVELAND (KABC) -- New details are emerging about the terrible conditions three women endured while held captive in a Cleveland home for years.
According to a newly released sentencing memo, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight kept diaries of their torture. The women detailed crimes committed against them by Ariel Castro, who is scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday.
Prosecutors say "the entries spoke of forced sexual conduct, of being locked in a dark room, of anticipating the next session of abuse...of desiring freedom."
Castro recently pled guilty to 937 counts of rape, kidnapping and aggravated murder. The 53-year-old aimed to totally control his victims inside the home. He locked the rooms, physically restrained their bodies, forced them to use plastic toilets and rarely emptied them.
He fed them once a day and allowed only one or two showers per week. The women escaped the home on May 6. Berry kicked out part of a door and called to neighbors for help.
The documents also detail Castro's violent relationship with his common law wife, the mother of four of his children.
She reported two broken noses, numerous broken ribs, lacerations, knocked out teeth, a dislocated shoulder and blood clot on the brain. She left the home before he captured the three women and she successfully fought to take away Castro's parental rights.
In court, Castro talked about the young daughter he fathered with Berry. Prosecutors say "when the baby was born, she was not breathing. Michelle Knight breathed into the baby's mouth in an effort to save her."
Castro threatened to kill Knight if she failed to save the baby's life. Miraculously, the baby survived. Later, Castro raped and impregnated Knight. Then Castro kicked Knight and punched her in the stomach until she miscarried.
Knight would need facial reconstruction surgery after all the punches to her face. Despite all that, she remains positive and grateful to the public and rescuers. She posted a handwritten note on the Cleveland Police Department's Facebook page Wednesday night.
In the note she says, "Life is tough, but I'm tougher! Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly."
Several sources, including Castro's sister, expect Knight to speak in court on Thursday. She would be making a victim impact statement face to face to Castro himself.
Castro is expected to speak at the sentencing hearing. His sister says he'll speak at length and present the "other side of Ariel Castro."
world news, elex michaelson
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