Wednesday, April 16, 2014
The Associated Press
(Continued from page 2)
Ariel Castro, center, listens in the courtroom during the sentencing phase Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, in Cleveland. Defense attorney's Craig Weintraub, left, and Jaye Schlachet sit beside Castro. Three months after an Ohio woman kicked out part of a door to end nearly a decade of captivity, Castro, a onetime school bus driver faces sentencing for kidnapping three women and subjecting them to years of sexual and physical abuse. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
The main reason she does not want anyone to talk about these things, or be forced to talk about these things, is because she has a daughter. She would like to be the person who decides what to tell her daughter, when to tell her daughter, and how to tell her daughter certain things.
EXCERPTS OF A STATEMENT READ BY SYLVIA COLON, COUSIN OF VICTIM GINA DEJESUS
To Ariel Castro's family — we are saddened that you are burdened with this horror and will unfortunately forever be tied to these atrocities. Please know that we do not hold you accountable and pray that you can one day be whole again. Continue to love and support one another — we promise you that with this recipe you will be triumphant.
We stand before you and promise you that our beloved family member thrives. She laughs, swims, dances, and more importantly she loves and is loved. We are comforted in knowing that she will continue to flourish. She will finish school, go to college, fall in love, and if she chooses, will get married and have children. She is where we will continue to put in our energy. She lives not a victim, but as a survivor. Her insurmountable will to prevail is the only story worth discussing.
We ask that you continue to give her and our family privacy as we continue this journey back into society.
To Ariel Castro (in Spanish): May God have mercy on your soul.