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Amanda, Gina, Michelle held like 'prisoners of war'

6:53 AM, Aug 1, 2013   |    comments
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 PDF Document: Castro sentencing memorandum.PDF

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CLEVELAND -- Late Wednesday, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty filed what he intends to use regarding Ariel Castro sentencing on Thursday.

The document details how each one of the victims -- Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus -- was lured to Castro's house, either with a promise of a ride, a visit with Castro's daughter or, in Knight's case, a puppy for her son.

Once in the house, McGinty said Castro used both physical and mental restraints on the girls to control them.

He would keep them chained and locked in the upstairs rooms or subject them to "...the cold of the basement and the heat of the attic as punishment techniques."

McGinty said Castro kept a gun "...and threatened to shoot the captives if they ever tried to escape."

Castro also told his captives that "he had other victims and that some of them made it home but that others had not," the document reads.

The document states that "the victims of the defendant's heinous crimes did everything humanly possible to retain a sense of normalcy. They were able to mark the passage of time through the maintenance of diaries. Several diary entries document abuse and life as a captive."

Amanda Berry wrote to her mother in her diary, both when her mother was alive and wrote to her "in heaven" when she knew her mother was dead.

"The victims had to watch the rest of the world turn as they were held in captivity. Holidays, world events, and even the passing of Ms. Berry's mother were observed by them, removed from the outside world."

At some point between Aug. 23, 2005 and Oct. 31, 2005, the defendant "forced the three victims into the garage behind his house...for three days they were kept physically restrained in a vehicle in the garage while the defendant had a visitor at his house."

The document tells of the birth of Amanda Berry's daughter on Dec. 25, 2006 and that neither the baby nor Berry received any medical treatment.

The baby was delivered by Michelle Knight in a plastic wading pool so none of the "birth mess" would soil the area. The baby was not breathing when it was born but Michelle performed CPR and the baby started breathing.

McGinty wrote that the defendant admitted that he intended to terminate Michelle Knight's pregnancy by punching and kicking her in the stomach and starving her for days, something he accomplished when she miscarried.

Dr. Frank M. Ochberg was asked by McGinty to evaluate the impact of their confinement.

In a  three-page letter, Ochberg said the "Stockholm Syndrome does apply, in part, as an explanation for the young women's compliance with Castro."

The Stockholm Syndrome is to become bonded in a strange way with your captor.

In the document, Castro admits that he kept Knight locked up in various rooms using chains and plastic zip-ties and having padlocks on exterior doors. He admits he also stuffed a piece of cloth in her mouth to keep her from screaming.

Castro admits "to having the girls chained by their ankles, with only one meal a day, showering infrequently, while he had 'sexual relations' with them. In the end, he claimes that he 'gave them all a chance to escape' by leaving the door to Ms. Berry and her child's room unlocked."

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