October 21, 2014 21:28 UTC

In the News

Three Women Freed After Years in Captivity

Ariel Castro appears in court for his initial appearance in Cleveland, Ohio, May 9, 2013.
Ariel Castro appears in court for his initial appearance in Cleveland, Ohio, May 9, 2013.

Multimedia

Play or download an MP3 of this story

From VOA Learning English, this is In The News.  
 
American police are praising the bravery of three women who were found alive this week after 10 years of captivity. The three kidnap victims were recovered late Monday from a house in Cleveland, Ohio. They were discovered after neighbors heard shouts for help from Amanda Berry. One neighbor kicked through a door to help her and her daughter escape and call the police.
 
“Help me! I am Amanda Berry. I need police. I have been kidnapped and I have been missing for 10 years, and I am here. I am free now.”
 
Police found the other young women, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, inside the house.  
 
Government lawyers have brought charges against the owner of the building.  Fifty-two year-old Ariel Castro is facing criminal charges on four kidnappings and three charges of rape. The kidnapping charges are for each of the three women and the six-year old girl who was born while Amanda Berry was held captive. An Ohio official says genetic tests showed that the child’s father was Ariel Castro.
 
Prosecutors said Thursday they may ask a court to sentence Mr. Castro to death. Police have said he starved and beat one woman to forcefully end her pregnancies. Officials say he could face hundreds of charges for each act of sexual violence.
 
The families of the three women say they are thankful to have them back. They praised them as strong women to have survived 10 years of captivity and abuse.
 
Amanda Berry was reported missing in 2003 at the age of 16. Fourteen-year-old Gina DeJesus disappeared a year later on her way home from school. Michele Knight was about 20 years old when she disappeared in 2002.
 
Police say Ariel Castro kept the young women in different rooms and tied them with ropes and chains.
 
On Thursday, a judge ordered the suspect held in jail. The judge set bail at eight million dollars. The large amount is evidence of the severity of the crimes. It will effectively prevent Ariel Castro from being released before his trial begins.
 
Experts say cases involving kidnap victims who are found alive years after they went missing are rare.
 
Robert Lowery leads the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He says about 100 children are kidnapped by sex criminals every year.  
 
Mr. Lowery is a retired police officer. He tells parents not to live in fear, but to empower children.
 
“And if someone tries to grab them we really encourage parents to tell their children, ‘Fight back, kick scream, bring as much attention to that situation as you can because, it's the assertive children that we find that are escaping from the clutches of these kind of offenders.”
 
David Finkelhor leads the Crimes against Children Research Center. He says there are effective treatments for victims of sex crimes. He says survivors need to build good relationships after sexual abuse.  
 
He also says research suggests different rates of sex crimes in different cultures.
 
“It may be related to cultural factors and the sense of entitlement that men feel, the way in which masculinity is defined, whether sexual prowess is defined as important.” 
 
And he says most cultures need reforms to meet the needs of sexually abused people.
 
“There is a tremendous need for training and legal reforms and judicial reforms and support groups for victims.”
 
And that’s In the News. I’m Steve Ember.


This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: BIJU.P.Y. from: SOUTH INDIA
05/17/2013 11:19 AM
Ariel castro is a hardend criminal who wants to be strictly disciplined. Such a criminal living in society may be dangerous to the other members of society too. It is very surprising to note that his cruelty found a free play for ten years. Who knows how many more women are under captivity like these?


by: pitter from: Brazil
05/13/2013 8:17 PM
This type of abuse against children is horrible.
Sexual abuse can destroy lifes and families in any culture or country. It needs to stop.


by: Franklin
05/11/2013 4:58 AM
I am agree with reform the law against of crime and abused sexual, Is necessary the reform and respect the freed of people.


by: John from: Indonesia
05/11/2013 1:55 AM
I feel very very disgusted with this story that I deleted it from the voa apps on my phone. the perpetrator deserves maximum sentence for his inhuman behaviour.

Learn with The News

  • Video Hong Kong’s Protests Show Generation Gap

    Students are leading pro-democracy protests in the Chinese territory. But many of their parents are more willing to express support for calm and security. The protests have shown what observers are calling a generation gap. More

  • FILE - satellite image provided by GeoEye shows the area around the Yongbyon nuclear facility in Yongbyon, North Korea. The U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies said shows that North Korea has resumed building wor

    Audio North Korea Plans to Keep Nuclear Program

    A North Korean official says his country plans to keep its nuclear program. He says the North Korean government could re-examine its policy toward the United States if U.S. officials continue raising human rights issues. More

  • ** FILE ** In this photo supplied by the Raytheon Aantarctic Services shows the ice highway stretches as far as the eye can see at the Antartica in this undated file photo. A planned driving trip to Antarctica's South Pole along the ice road built by the

    Audio Fiber Optic Cable Measures Antarctic Ice Melt

    Antarctica is covered with ice that extends past the land and floats on the sea in thick shelves. But those ice shelves are melting quickly. As they melt, the sea level rises, increasing the risk of damaging floods. More

  • Postal Worker Protest

    Audio US Politicians Target Asian American Voters

    Asians are the fastest growing minority in the United States. Political scientists say Asian Americans are starting to have an influence on U.S. politics. There now are more Asian Americans in Congress than ever before. More

  • Bishops attend the beatification ceremony of Pope Paul VI, and a mass for the closing of of a two-week synod on family issues, celebrated by Pope Francis, in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican,  Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014.

    Audio Catholic Bishops Reject Plan to 'Welcome' Gays

    Conservatives had criticized an early document from the two-week-long meeting of bishops in Rome. That document sought to limit criticism of people who have same-sex relationships. The final document approved by the bishops disappoints liberals but pleases conservatives. | As It Is More

Featured Stories

  • Audio San Francisco Radio Stations Ban Lorde's 'Royals'

    The California baseball team, San Francisco Giants, is playing the Kansas City Royals for the 2014 Major League Baseball championship, the World Series. Two radio stations in San Francisco banned the hit song "Royals." In return, another station in Kansas City chose to play the song once every hour. More

  • A neurovascular unit on a chip being developed by Vanderbilt University researchers. (Vanderbilt University Photo/John Wikswo)

    Video Scientists Design Chips to Act Like Human Organs

    Some scientists are now designing silicon computer chips that act like human organs. The scientists think they have found a way to make the process faster and more economical. More

  • Brain Resource Infographic

    Audio Dealing with Distractions and Overreactions

    Five million American children and teenagers have Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD. ADHD makes it difficult - if not impossible - to stay with a duty until it is complete. Katherine Ellison knows the problem well. | Health Report More

  • Millions of years of history, which can be found on the ocean floor, are collected and analyzed at the Core Repository in New York.

    Video Scientists Create New Maps of Ocean Floor

    Until recently, scientists had mapped only about 20 percent of the sea floor. But our knowledge of the deep seas is changing because of information from satellites. Scientists have produced a new map that provides a detailed picture of the oceans. More

  • General George McClellan created a strong Union force, but he worried he did not have enough men to defeat the Confederacy.

    Audio McClellan Approaches Richmond ... And Waits

    The North and South clashed in a series of battles called the Seven Days Campaign. The struggle saved the Confederacy but came at a terrible price. But victory came at a terrible price. Twenty thousand Confederate soldiers were killed or wounded. The Civil War was becoming more costly. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner BlogConfessions of an English Learner Blog

Tell us About Our Programs