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“I want to be able to help people who might not know where to turn,” she explained. “To see that there is a road to recovery.”

She has declined to disclose her exact hometown, married surname or college alma mater, citing privacy concerns for her family.

In the book, Beers writes that she had been molested and raped by Sal Inghilleri _ her godmother’s husband _ from the time she was a toddler. Inghilleri, who served 12 years in prison for molesting Beers, died in jail in 2009 following his arrest on a parole violation.

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.

She didn’t realize it until many years later, but says now that she frequently watched Gusoff _ then a reporter for Long Island’s News12 cable station _ filing reports on the police search for her while she was missing.

“It was like I had known her for 16 years” when they met in 2008 to begin work on the book, she said.

Gusoff notes that as abhorrent as Beers‘ sexual abuse and neglect was at the hands of her elders before the kidnapping, it may have steeled her into a survival mode.

Dominick Varrone, the Suffolk County detective who led the investigation, agreed, telling Gusoff in the book that “because of her upbringing, the sexual experiences, the abuse, and street smarts and toughness, she was much more advanced than the normal 9-year-old, and we believe that contributed to her survival.”

Marilyn Beers, who is described in the book as a hard-working but largely absentee mother who ceded responsibility for raising Katie and her older brother to Inghilleri’s wife and others, did not return a telephone message seeking comment about the book.

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