October 25, 2014 09:24 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

  • Audio Wealth, Poverty Are Issues in Hong Kong Protests

    The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong are mainly about the right to vote without interference from China’s central government. But there are at least two other less talked-about issues. One is concern about the rising cost of living in Hong Kong. Another is the gap between rich and poor. More

  • Texas Voter ID

    Audio US Supreme Court Allows Texas Voter ID Law

    The United States Supreme Court says the southwestern state of Texas can keep in place a new voting law. The law says voters must show identification documents before they are permitted to mark ballots. A lower court had ruled that the law could keep minorities from voting. More

  • President Barack Obama hugs Dallas nurse Nina Pham as her mother Diane looks on, Oval Office, Washington, Oct. 24, 2014.

    Audio In US, Fear of Ebola Spreads Faster than Virus

    For Americans, Ebola started out as a disease in a far-away continent. But it changed when a Liberian man died in Dallas. US officials said tests show that a New York doctor has the Ebola virus. The doctor recently treated Ebola patients in Guinea working for Doctors Without Borders. More

  • Brazil Elections

    Audio Who Will Be Brazil's Next President?

    Brazilians will choose a president Sunday. Two candidates will be on the ballot -- Dilma Rousseff and Senator Aecio Neves. President Rousseff won the most votes in the first round of voting earlier this month. But she did not win a majority of votes, so a runoff election is required. More

  • Audio Gunman Identified in Canadian Capital

    Also, UN human rights officials have called on China to guarantee open elections in Hong Kong. And, an attack in southwest Pakistan kills 11 people. WHO advises against Ebola travel bans. | In the News More

Featured Stories

  • Audio Oscar de la Renta Dressed First Ladies and Movie Stars

    Clothing designer Oscar de la Renta died Monday at his home in the American state of Connecticut. He was 82 years old. His wife said he died of problems related to cancer. Mr. de la Renta dressed American movie stars and first ladies such as Jacqueline Kennedy, Nancy Reagan and Hillary Clinton. More

  • Audio Iron Ships Clash at Sea

    The American Civil War was fought not only on land, but at sea. In 1862, Confederate and Union forces fought a new kind of navy battle in waters off Hampton Roads, Virginia. It was the first battle between iron ships. On the Confederate side was a ship called the Virginia. | The Making of a Nation More

  • 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

    Testing new drugs for safety and effectiveness is a costly process in the United States. It also can take a lot of time. 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

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner BlogConfessions of an English Learner Blog

Tell us About Our Programs