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Castro plea equals victim's relief

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Ariel Castro's plea deal may offer at least a little relief to the three women, allowing them to move forward.

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight have peace of mind knowing Castro is behind bars.  

Following Friday's plea, the women held captive for so many years released a statement saying they are "relieved" by not going to trial. 

Berry went missing in 2003 right before her 17th birthday after leaving work at Burger King.  Berry's mom died 3 years later, some say of a broken heart.  Berry is now a mom herself to a daughter Castro fathered.

"I want everyone to know how happy I am to be home with my family and my friends," said Berry. "It's been unbelievable."

Gina DeJesus, the youngest of the victims, disappeared in 2004 at age 14 while walking home from school.  Her parents never gave up hope or the fight to find her.

"I'm grateful for the support," said DeJesus. 

Knight disappeared in 2002 at age 21.  She may have suffered the most during her captivity. 

All three women told police that Knight was repeatedly raped and beaten several times to intentionally cause miscarriages.

"I may have been through Hell and back but I am strong enough to walk through Hell with a smile on my face," said Knight.  "I will not let the situation define who I am. I will define the situation."

The house, at 2207 Seymour Avenue, is likely to be torn down soon after Castro's sentencing on August 1.

Word is the women may make an appearance at the sentencing either in court or via closed circuit TV.

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