Alan Gross’s Wife Says Imprisonment Taking A Toll On Her Husband

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Begging for mercy. The wife of a Maryland man in prison in Cuba worries she will never see him alive.

Weijia Jiang has more.

Physically, family members say he’s wasting away. Mentally, it appears Gross believes he is a victim of a life-shattering deception.

Alan Gross, 62, is serving a 15-year-prison sentence in Cuba. The Potomac man is accused of being a spy.  His wife paints a disheartening picture of his new life.

“He’s so frail, and now he’s lost over 100 pounds, and when I saw him, I could see his bones sticking out,” Alan Gross’ wife, Judy Gross, said.

Gross made several trips from Maryland to Cuba, bringing in satellite equipment and setting up computers. Cuban authorities say Gross was trying to overthrow their government. But Gross insists he was on a humanitarian mission to bring Internet access to a small Jewish community.

In excerpts from Gross’ trial just released Friday, he told a Havana court he was sorry his actions were misinterpreted. He also reveals other feelngs we’re hearing about for the first time.

Gross said: “I am deeply sorry for being a trusting fool. I was duped. I was used. And my family and I have paid dearly for this.”

It’s unclear who Gross feels tricked him.

The most powerful in Washington are fighting for his release.

“We call on the government of Cuba to release him,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

“We want him set free,” said civil rights activist Jesse Jackson.

But the Gross family worries those spirits will waste away.

“One of my biggest fears is that I’m going to get a call from my attorney one day saying Alan had a heart attack or something happened to him,” Judy Gross said. “I don’t know if I’ll ever see him again. I don’t know if he’ll set foot on U.S. soil.”

Gross’ last appeal in court was rejected. Now, he and his supporters are begging the Cuban president Raul Castro to let him go on humanitarian grounds. Gross has been detained since December 2009.

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