Entries in 20/20 (3)


Kidnap Victim's Mother Says She Would Hug Castro, Say 'God Bless You'

ABC News(CLEVELAND) -- The mother of Gina DeJesus, whom Ariel Castro allegedly abducted and kept as a sex slave in his Cleveland home for a decade, had a surprising answer when asked what she would say to Castro.

"I would hug him and I would say, 'God bless you.' I would say, 'God bless you,' and I'd hug him. I did not hate him. I forgave him years ago. I said it: I forgive whoever done it, just let her go," Nancy Ruiz told 20/20 anchor David Muir in an exclusive interview Thursday.

"Because you know what?" Ruiz added. "When you start to hate a person, that eats you up. I don't have time for that. I have to be, you know, I want to be happy, like I am now."

Ariel Castro's cousin, Maria Castro Montes, had a different answer when Muir asked her the same question.

"I wouldn't be able to look at him. I couldn't say anything to him. Why? Shame on you? How could you do this? I don't even want to ask him those questions. I don't even want to look at him," Montes said in an exclusive interview Thursday.

Montes described seeing Castro, 52, occasionally over the time he allegedly held the three women captive.

"When I saw him, I loved him," she said. "This is a man who I loved. This is a man who was a family member. This is a man who has his own family. He has kids, he has grandkids. Those are the ones who have to be suffering the greatest. I don't even know what to say to his kids."

DeJesus, 23, was reunited with her family on Wednesday after nearly 10 years spent as the alleged prisoner of Castro, a man her mother knew for years.

For years after DeJesus' abduction, Castro, who grew up in the same community as Ruiz, would offer the family his support.

As recently as last year, Castro asked Ruiz, "How are you doing?" never indicating he was allegedly keeping her daughter a captive just miles from where she lived.

Ruiz said DeJesus told her that she and two other women, Amanda Berry, 27, and Michelle Knight, 30, were kept chained in the basement of the basement. Later on, they were allowed upstairs and kept in two separate bedrooms for much of the time.

DeJesus and Knight were often kept in one bedroom. Berry and her daughter, 6, whom she gave birth to while in captivity, were held in a second room, Ruiz said.

The women were freed on Monday, when Berry screamed for help from behind a locked door, alerting neighbors who helped kick down the door and called police.

Castro 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.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Rielle Hunter: No Regrets About Following Her Heart

ABC/ PHIL ELLSWORTH(NEW YORK) -- Some see her as the woman who brought down former presidential candidate John Edwards, but Rielle Hunter, who in 2008 gave birth to Edwards’ daughter Quinn, told ABC News 20/20 anchor Chris Cuomo that she is something very different.

“First and foremost, I’m a mom,” she said in an exclusive interview Cuomo, which will air this Friday.  “And I’m also a woman who fell in love with a married man. I’m not the first woman who has done that and I’m not going to be the last.”

Hunter has penned a revealing memoir with many new revelations about her relationship with Edwards. What Really Happened: John Edwards, Our Daughter and Me, to be published June 26, details how she got caught up in one of the biggest political scandals in recent history, the status of her relationship with Edwards and his involvement in the life of their now 4-year-old daughter.

People magazine obtained exclusive excerpts from the book, including Hunter’s description of how Edwards’ wife, Elizabeth Edwards, reacted after learning of the affair:

“Elizabeth requested all the tapes (I’d made of the campaign). She locked herself in a room to watch,” Hunter wrote. “On one tape she saw Johnny walking into a room and his reaction to seeing me. She apparently told him that he never once looked at her the way he looked at me. So she took that bit and put it on her computer as a screen saver in order to watch it over and over again.”

Last month Edwards was acquitted on charges of accepting illegal campaign contributions from a supporter. The Justice Department will not retry the case.

As for her and John Edwards?

“I’m still in love with John,” Hunter wrote. “That didn’t’ go away, shockingly enough. Marriage? I have no idea. I’m not a big fan of the institution, but never say never.”

In the end, Hunter says she has regrets, but not about following her heart because she has her daughter Quinn, whom she calls the love of her life.

Watch Chris Cuomo’s exclusive interview on ABC’s 20/20 Friday at 10 p.m. ET

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


New Hampshire Man Found Guilty of Rape of Tina Anderson

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(CONCORD, N.H.) -- Ernest Willis, a New Hampshire man accused of raping and fathering a child with a 15-year-old girl from his church in 1997, was found guilty Friday of three counts of forcible rape and a count of felonious sexual assault.

Willis' case drew national headlines because his victim, Tina Anderson, who gave an exclusive interview to 20/20 last month, said she was forced to confess her "sin" -- the pregnancy -- in front of their congregation at Trinity Baptist Church, an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church (IFB) in Concord, N.H. The church's then-pastor, Chuck Phelps, helped arrange for Anderson to move thousands of miles away from home to live with an IFB family and give her child up for adoption.

Willis, 51, faces 10 to 20 years in jail, in addition to up to 7 years on a statutory rape charge. Willis pleaded guilty to statutory rape days before the trial began but maintained that the sex was consensual.

His four-day trial included testimony from Anderson, now 29; her mother, Christine Leaf; Phelps and Willis himself.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio