CLEVELAND, May 12 (UPI) — The three Cleveland women allegedly kidnapped and raped by Ariel Castro will not speak publicly while the case is ongoing, a lawyer for the women said Sunday.
In a statement read by lawyer Jim Wooley of the Jones Day law firm, Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus asked for “time, respect and privacy” while they recover and get stronger after their ordeal, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported.
The three women were allegedly kidnapped by Castro, held locked in a basement and later in an upstairs room in his Cleveland home, and raped and tortured over the course of a decade.
Wooley said those interested in giving financial assistance to the women should do so through “legitimate entities,” like the Cleveland Courage fund set up by three Cleveland City Council members.
Meanwhile, Pedro and Onil Castro, Ariel’s brothers, told CNN they’ve been in hiding with their mother outside of Cleveland because they’ve received death threats.
Police arrested Ariel’s two brothers last week, but released them without filing charges.
They said they’ve received death threats online and people have thrown rocks at their windows and broken into their homes, CNN reported Sunday.
The brothers said they are worried people will always believe they were involved in the alleged abductions and rapes.
“And the people out there that know me, they know that Onil Castro is not that person and has nothing to do with that. Would never even think of something like that,” Onil said. “I was a very liked person, individual. I’ve never had any enemies. No reason for anybody to think that I would ever do something like that. It’s a shock to all my friends. They couldn’t believe it.”
“I couldn’t never think of doing anything like that. If I knew that my brother was doing this … I would not be, not — in a minute, I would call the cops because that ain’t right,” Pedro added. “But yeah, it’s going to haunt me down because people going to think, yeah, Pedro got something to do with this and Pedro don’t have nothing to do with this. If I knew, I would have reported it, brother or no brother.”
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