Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 2nd 2013 Contents A23
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NEW YORK---A 35-year-old woman
on a first date plunged to her death
yesterday after the railing on her 17th-
floor New York City balcony gave way,
Jennifer Rosoff went outside for a
cigarette around 12.50 am when she
either sat on the railing or leaned on it.
Her date told her that she probably
shouldn't do it, and then moments later,
she fell and landed on construction
scaffolding at the first floor, authorities
said. Police spoke to the man and
cleared him of any possible wrongdoing.
Emergency crews pronounced Rosoff
dead at the scene. The medical
examiner will determine a cause of
The gray brick high-rise building on
Manhattan's Upper East Side was built
before World War II. Only the higher-
floor corner apartments have balconies,
and the city's buildings department
issued a partial vacate order for them.
A photo of the corner balcony of the
apartment where Rosoff lived shows
the top two metal railings bent down in
a V-shape. Buildings officials took part
of the broken railing to examine how it
could have given way and plan to
determine whether the other balconies
are structurally sound. (AP)
Woman falls 17 floors to her death
CLEVELAND---The US man con-
victed of holding three women
captive in his house for over a
decade and raping them repeat-
edly was sentenced yesterday to
life without parole plus 1,000
Ariel Castro, 53, had pleaded
guilty to 937 counts including
aggravated murder, kidnapping,
rape and assault.
Castro apologised and told the
court he s addicted to pornography,
but he claimed that most of the
sex with the women was consen-
"These people are trying to paint
me as a monster," he said.
"I m not a monster. I m sick."
He got the life term for the most
serious count and was getting
additional time for the hundreds
of other counts.
A deal struck with prosecutors
spared him from a possible death
sentence for beating and starving
a pregnant victim until she mis-
The women disappeared sepa-
rately between 2002 and 2004
when they were 14, 16 and 20 years
old. They escaped May 6 when
one of them, Amanda Berry, broke
out part of the door to Castro s
house and yelled to neighbours for
help. Castro said yesterday he
knows what he did was wrong,
but that he s not a violent person
and that his captives asked for sex
and weren t tortured.
Judge Michael Russo dismissed
Castro s claims that the women
lived a happy life with him.
"I m not sure there s anyone in
America that would agree with
you," he said.
The women described horrific
conditions in the home, which
Castro turned into a jury-rigged
One of three women kidnapped
told Castro yesterday that her life
is just beginning, while his is over.
"You took 11 years of my life
away, and I have got it back,"
Michelle Knight told Castro.
"I spent 11 years in hell. Now
your hell is just beginning. I will
overcome all this has happened,
but you will face hell for eterni-
ty."Knight, 32, did not face Castro
as she spoke, but he glanced
toward her several times after she
entered the courtroom. She was
the first woman abducted Castro
in 2002 after he lured her into his
house with the promise of a puppy
for her son.
As Castro was led away, Knight
FBI agent Andrew Burke said
Castro turned his house into a
prison by creating a makeshift
alarm system and chaining them
inside bolted bedrooms.
Bedroom windows were boarded
shut from the inside with heavy
closet doors and doorknobs had
been removed and replaced with
multiple locks, Burke said.
The house was divided in ways
to make it more secure and to hide
the existence of rooms, he said.
Victim: Your hell
Life for man who held 3 women captive
MOSCOW---National Security Agency
leaker Edward Snowden left the transit
zone of a Moscow airport and offi-
cially entered Russia after authorities
granted him asylum for a year, his
lawyer said yesterday, a move that
suggests the Kremlin isn t shying away
from further conflict with the United
Snowden s whereabouts will be kept
a secret for security reasons, lawyer
Anatoly Kucherena said, making it even
harder to keep track of the former NSA
systems analyst, who has been largely
hiding out at Moscow s Sheremetyevo
airport since his arrival from Hong
Kong on June 23.
The US has demanded that Russia
send Snowden home to face prosecution
for espionage over his leaks that revealed
wide US Internet surveillance practices,
but Russian President Vladimir Putin
dismissed the request. In a statement
released by WikiLeaks, Snowden
thanked Russia and lashed out at the
"Over the past eight weeks we have
seen the Obama administration show
no respect for international or domestic
law, but in the end the law is winning,"
"I thank the Russian Federation for
granting me asylum in accordance with
its laws and international obligations."
The move already appears to have
further strained tense US-Russian rela-
tions amid differences over Syria, US
criticism of Russia s human rights
record and other disputes. Putin has
said his asylum was contingent on him
not hurting US interests, but the Krem-
lin could have interpreted that to
exclude documents he had already
leaked to newspapers that continue to
The White House insisted Snowden
isn t a whistleblower or dissident, saying
the move to grant him asylum under-
mines Russia s record of cooperation
with the US. Spokesman Jay Carney
said that the White House is re-eval-
uating whether a planned fall summit
with President Barack Obama and Putin
should still go ahead.
In his application for asylum, Snow-
den said he feared he could face torture
or capital punishment if he is returned
to the US. (AP)
LOS ANGELES---In therapy sessions,
the priest confessed the shocking
details he d kept hidden for years: He
had molested more than 100 boys,
including his five-year-old brother.
He had sex with male prostitutes, and
frequented gay strip clubs.
The admissions of the Rev Ruben
Martinez are included among nearly
2,000 pages of secret files unsealed
Wednesday that were kept on priests,
brothers and nuns who belonged to
religious orders but were accused of
child molestation while working within
the Los Angeles archdiocese.
The papers, which were released
under the terms of a $660 million set-
tlement agreement reached in 2007,
are the first glimpse at what religious
orders knew about the men and women
they posted in Roman Catholic schools
and parishes in the Los Angeles area.
The archdiocese itself released thou-
sands of pages under court order this
year for its own priests who were
accused of sexual abuse, but the full
picture of the problem remained elusive
without the orders records. Several
dozen more files are expected to be
released by the fall.
The documents cover five different
religious orders that employed ten
priests or religious brothers and two
nuns who were all accused in civil law-
suits of molesting children. Among
them, the accused had 21 alleged victims
between the 1950s and the 1980s.
Some of the files released Wednesday,
including those of the nuns, don t men-
tion sexual abuse at all, and others
appear to have large gaps in time and
missing documents. The release includ-
ed documents from the Oblates, the
Marianists, the Benedictines and two
orders for religious sisters.
That the files don t reflect some of
the alleged abuse doesn t mean it didn t
happen, said Ray Boucher, lead attorney
for some abuse victims.
"Much of this went unreported.
You re talking about kids that were ter-
rorised and frightened in so many dif-
ferent ways, with no place and no one
to turn to."
At more than 500 pages, Martinez s
file is among the most complete, and
it paints a devastating picture of a trou-
bled and repressed child who later
joined the priesthood to satisfy a dom-
ineering and devout father. The Los
Angeles archdiocese settled eight law-
suits over Martinez s actions in 2007,
but had little documentation on him
in its own files even though the priest
worked in its parishes for years in the
1970s and 1980s. (AP)
Russians grant Snowden asylum
US religious order files show
decades of child sex abuse
Ariel Castro rubs his nose in the
courtroom during his sentencing
Michelle Knight sits in
the courtroom during
the sentencing phase for
Ariel Castro yesterday in
Cleveland. Knight, one of
the victims of Castro,
testified before the
appearance was her first
since her rescue from
the house where she
was held captive for ten
years. AP PHOTOS
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