By Marc Kovac
Gov. John Kasich said Wednesday that state officials stand ready to provide assistance as needed to the Cleveland kidnapping victims, days after the women were rescued from a home where they were confined for a decade.
“It’s an unbelievable story,” the governor told reporters after a speech at a mental health rally at the Statehouse. “We’re willing to do anything we can to help. ... The mental health issue is going to be a big one.”
He added, “The good news is they were lost, and now they’re found. But [it’ll] be a struggle for them.”
The governor offered the comments as law enforcement continued to investigate the Cleveland house where the victims were found. The homeowner, Ariel Castro, was charged Wednesday with multiple counts of kidnapping and rape.
“As the story is unraveling, we’re finding out the horrific situation that these young women were kept in,” Rep. Nickie Antonio, a Democrat from Cleveland, said during Wednesday’s House session. “... I hope that we resolve to continue to work ... to stand up for victims, for survivors, those who are abducted, trafficked and abused.”
Republican House Speaker Bill Batchelder said Wednesday he is working with Democratic Rep. Teresa Fedor of Toledo on legislation. Fedor has offered a number of bills to crack down on human trafficking.