Michelle Knight, Ohio kidnapping victim, makes first public appearance since suicide of captor Ariel Castro at NFL game, report says

Michelle Knight sits in the courtroom during a break in the sentencing phase for Ariel Castro Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, in Cleveland. Knight spoke Monday, May 5, 2014, on NBC's "Today" show, saying she forgives her captor, who was found dead in his cell.
AP/Tony Dejak
Michelle Knight sits in court during a break in the sentencing of Ariel Castro Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, in Cleveland, Ohio.
AP Photo/Tony Dejak

(CBS) - Cleveland kidnapping victim Michelle Knight made her first public appearance Sunday since the Sept. 3 suicide of her captor, Ariel Castro, reports the New York Daily News.

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Knight, 32, stood with family and supporters, smiling, during a Cleveland Browns football game against the Miami Dolphins.

Knight was rescued in May along with Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry from Castro's Cleveland home, where prosecutors say he kept them captive and sexually abused them for about a decade.

After pleading guilty to more than 900 counts including kidnapping, rape and torture, Castro was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years in a plea deal that spared him from the death penalty. At his sentencing hearing, Knight said capital punishment would have been "so much easier"  than a life sentence for the 53-year-old.

"You don't deserve that," Knight said. "You deserve to spend the rest of your life in prison."

Castro was found dead this month after officials said he hanged himself in his prison cell. He was about a month into his prison term.

Castro's arranged for a small, private funeral for him, a relative told The Daily News Thursday.

"We don't want to draw attention and have the girls relive their emotions," his brother-in-law Juan Alicea said. "We want to make it as easy for them as we can. They've suffered enough."

Complete coverage of the Cleveland kidnapping case on Crimesider

  • Erin Donaghue

    Erin Donaghue covers crime for's Crimesider.