Ohio lawmakers consider reparations bill for Cleveland kidnap victims

Posted By Kate Stanton  |  Oct. 16, 2013 at 7:05 PM
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(UPI) -- Ohio's House of Representatives has advanced a bill that would compensate Ariel Castro's victims for their years in captivity.

The bill, which cleared committee on Wednesday, would give each of Castro's three kidnapping victims $25,000 each year for the number of years they lived in captivity. The bill would also provide for their health insurance and fees and tuition at an Ohio public college.

"We are merely trying to restore what they lost as a result of their involuntary servitude," Rep. John Barnes, D-Cleveland, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The bill's sponsors said that it would also grant reparations to anyone held captive for at least eight years.

“We can’t undo the past,” Rep. Cheryl Grossman, R-Grove City. "But we certainly can look at what we can do to help in the future, and I think this is the right thing for us to do.”

Castro, 52, held Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight captive in his Cleveland home for years until their dramatic rescue last May. Before he was found hanged in his prison cell last month, Castro pled guilty to 937 counts of kidnapping and assault and was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years.

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