One day after captor Ariel Castro was sentenced to life in prison, kidnapping victim Amanda Berry made her first public appearance at RoverFest 2013 on Saturday, July 27. The 27-year-old woman and her family joined rapper Nelly onstage at the daylong festival at Cleveland's Voinovich Park.
Before his set, Nelly took the stage to introduce Berry. "He said, 'Everyone, here's Amanda Berry,' and she came out with a friend, another young woman," a female concertgoer said. "She didn't say anything, but she was smiling and happy. She waved to the crowd, everyone went crazy cheering, and she went backstage."
"Nelly did his set, 4 or 5 songs, and then he brought her out again and everyone cheered," she added. During his set, Nelly also reportedly dedicated a song to Berry.
Berry is one of the three women who was abducted by Castro. Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle spent more than a decade being the subjects of repeated rapes, with the former having a now-6-year-old son with the kidnapper. Berry escaped from Castro's home last May and immediately called 911 for help.
On Friday, July 26, Castro pleaded guilty to 937 counts of rape and kidnapping charges that earned him life in prison plus 1000 years.