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January 15, 2013

20 years on, Katie Beers says kidnapping saved her

(Continued)

OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. —

Beers also writes that Esposito raped her in the dungeon, explaining that she repressed her memory of the sexual assault for many years as a defense mechanism.

Esposito, who pleaded guilty to kidnapping, was never charged with rape. He is serving 15 years to life and has been denied parole several times; his next parole hearing is later this year. At a 2007 parole hearing, Esposito described himself as asexual and said while he kissed the child, he never engaged in sexual relations.

He told Gusoff in a letter published in the book that he believes he deserves to be released.

"I think Katie knows I will always wish her well," Esposito writes. "I'm sorry for what I've done. I'm sorry I even thought it up. It was a mistake."

During her time in the dungeon, Beers writes, she rarely slept, fearing abuse from Esposito. She said she was afraid Esposito might molest her while she slept, but also was concerned that he would photograph her sleeping and send the image to police. She feared if police thought she was dead, they might end their search for her.

She "celebrated" her 10th birthday while a prisoner of Esposito's and was heard on an audiotape found in the dungeon after her release singing "Happy Birthday" to herself, although she says today she has no recollection of that.

Esposito, she writes, fed her primarily junk food and soda; to this day she is repulsed by chocolate after-dinner mints because they were a staple in captivity. She did have access to a small television, but says she can no longer listen to Whitney Houston's version of "I Will Always Love You" because it played incessantly on MTV and VH1 while she in the dungeon.

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