Amanda Berry Update: Cleveland Kidnapping Victim Takes Stage with Rapper Nelly (Video)

( [email protected] ) Jul 29, 2013 02:25 AM EDT

The day after her captor, Ariel Castro, was sentenced to life and 1,000 years in prison, Amanda Berry appeared at a public event featuring the rapper Nelly for the first time.

Berry walked on stage with her family and waved at the cheering crowd. Wearing sunglasses and dressed in jeans and a black T-shirt, she smiled broadly while acknowledging the applause, but she didn't address the crowd.

Rapper Nelly introduced her onstage early Saturday evening, 'Everyone, here's Amanda Berry,' Nelly said. Berry then came out with a friend, another young woman.

Berry, now 27, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight disappeared between 2002 and 2004 when they were 16, 14 and 20 years old. They escaped in May when Berry kicked out part of a door and called to neighbors for help.

Castro, 53, who was arrested and jailed shortly after the women escaped, was accused of raping and beating the three repeatedly.

Last Friday, Castro was charged with 977 counts, including aggravated murder on suspicion of aborting the pregnancy of one of the women. He agreed to plead guilty to 937 counts. He is expected to go to prison for life and at least 1,000 more years after he is sentenced on August 1.

The women didn't attend the court proceeding but said in a statement that they were relieved by the conviction and looking forward to the end of the legal proceedings.