Lawmakers Advance Bill To Help Cleveland Kidnap Victims

Amanda Berry (left), Gina DeJesus (center), and Michelle Knight declined comment on the proposed legislation
Amanda Berry (left), Gina DeJesus (center), and Michelle Knight declined comment on the proposed legislation

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A proposal offering cash reparations and other benefits to three women abducted and imprisoned in a Cleveland man’s home has cleared a divided Ohio House committee with several changes.

The measure would provide the women with annual cash relief payments for each of the years they were restrained, minus other victim assistance awards for which they’re eligible.

The bill’s initial offer of tuition, fees and living expenses at an Ohio public college would now be administered through Cleveland State University.

Rather than making lifetime federal government medical assistance available to the women, the amended bill gives the governor the power to annually review and pay eligible expenses.

Ariel Castro pleaded guilty to kidnapping the women, then repeatedly raping and beating them. He was found hanged in prison last month.

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