|Cleveland Women Doing Well, Ask For Privacy|
|By ALEX PEREZ (@perezreports) , MATTHEW JAFFE and ALYSSA NEWCOMB (@AlyssaNewcomb)||May 12, 2013, 10:30 AM|
The three Cleveland women who were abducted a decade ago and rescued last week are doing well but pleaded for privacy, their attorneys said today.
At a press conference in Cleveland this morning, attorney James Wooley along with his colleagues Henry Hilow and Heather Kimmel, read a written statement on behalf of Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight.
Michelle, Amanda and Gina "are extremely grateful for the generous assistance and loving support of their families, friends and the community" and thank authorities "for the tireless efforts of numerous law enforcement officials." he said.
Wooley then read statements directly from all three women.
Berry said, "Thank you so much for everything you do and continue to do. I am so happy to be home with my family."
DeJesus said, "I am so happy to be home and want to thank everybody for all your prayers. I just want time now to be with my family."
Knight said, "Thank you to everyone for your support and good wishes. I am healthy, happy and safe and will reach out to family, friends and supporters in good time."
In response to numerous media requests, the attorneys said the women "will not be participating in any interviews" at this time due to the pending criminal investigation and prosecution and, more importantly, Wooley said, because they want privacy "so that they can continue to heal and reconnect with their families."
Since Amanda Berry made a brave bolt for freedom last Monday, prompting police to rescue DeJesus and Knight, the women have been inundated with offers of support, Hillow said.
"[They] are extremely appreciative of this generosity," Hillow said. He urged anyone interested in helping the women to work with "legitimate entities," such as the Cleveland Courage Fund, which was established after their rescue.
The three women were rescued from Ariel Castro's house on Seymour Avenue on Monday evening after Berry managed to escape through the front door.
Berry's 6-year-old daughter Jocelyn, who was fathered by Castro, was also found inside the house.
Castro, 52, was arraigned Thursday in an Ohio court on charges of kidnapping and rape. Bond was set at $8 million. He did not enter a plea.