Ariel Castro. (AP Graphics)
Natalie DiBlasio, USA TODAY
Ohio lawmakers were scheduled to vote Wednesday on a bill that would provide Ariel Castro's three kidnapping victims compensation for their time in captivity.
Ariel Castro, 53, pleaded guilty to kidnapping and repeatedly raping and beating Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, and imprisoning them in his Cleveland home for a decade. Castro also limited their access to food and toilet facilities and at times chained them to a pole in the basement.
Castro was found hanged in his jail cell last month.
If the bill passes, the three women would get at least $25,000 annually for each of the years they were in captivity, health care coverage, and tuition, fees and living expenses at an Ohio public college.
Berry managed to escape from Castro's home and alert a neighbor on May 6, leading to rescue of the women and a 6-year-old girl Castro fathered with one of the victims
Based on their length of captivity, Knight would receive up to $275,000, Berry would get $250,000, and DeJesus would be paid $225,000.
The money would come from the Ohio Court of Claims' victims of crime fund.
"We are merely trying to restore what they lost as a result of their involuntary servitude," bill sponsor Rep. John Barnes told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Barnes also said the intent of the proposal is to give the women access to an education and other life experiences that they missed during the past decade.
Rep. Cheryl Grossman, a Grove City Republican co-sponsoring the bill, told the paper she wasn't sure who could provide such help besides the state.
"We can't undo the past," she said. "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."