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Anthony Sowell Case Motivates Help with Drug Abuse

By Kamika Dunlap on December 16, 2009 12:01 PM

In the wake of the discovery of 11 decomposing bodies in Anthony Sowell's home more than a month ago, many women in the Cleveland area seeking help with drug abuse.

As previously discussed, Sowell, a convicted Ohio rapist, faces 85 counts including murder, rape and kidnapping charges following the discovery of the remains at his home.

According to the Associated Press, the United Way in Cleveland says calls from women asking to be referred to drug-treatment programs was 36 percent higher last month compared with the same time last year.

Drug counselors say many women in Cleveland seeking help with drug addiction were motivated to call by the discovery of the women who disappeared into the house, where Sowell, a registered sex offender, lived.

During drug-treatment meetings and ex-offender support groups, women talk about how they could have been victims, too.

Police believe 50-year-old Anthony Sowell lured women addicted to drugs or alcohol into his Cleveland home and attacked them.

The remains of 11 women, all African American, were found buried in and around Sowell's house in Cleveland.

As previously discussed, Sowell pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to aggravated murder charges. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

During Sowell's latest pretrial hearing, Sowell waived his right to a speedy trial in order to accommodate his new defense team.

He also agreed to let police fence off the house with barbed wire to preserve evidence.

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