Ariel Castro charged with kidnapping, rape of three Cleveland women
Ariel Castro will be charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape in the case of the three women in Cleveland, Ohio. Onil and Pedro Castro do not face charges at this time.
CLEVELAND — The man at whose home three women were found after a decade of captivity was charged Wednesday with multiple counts of kidnapping and rape.
Ariel Castro, 52, faces three counts of rape and four counts of kidnapping involving victims Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight. The three vanished between 2002 and 2004. Castro was also charged with kidnapping in connection with Berry’s six-year-old daughter, Jocelyn, who was also found at the home Monday and is believed to be Castro’s child.
Authorities revealed little about their investigation into the case, which is on-going, but said they had gathered hundreds of pieces of evidence. The felony charges against Castro came 48 hours after Berry – now 27 – made a frantic flight from Castro’s Seymour Avenue home early Monday evening. Authorities say that may have been the first opportunity any of the victims had to escape captivity.
Castro is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Additional charges could be filed at a later date. Police reports say Castro allegedly lured all three into his car on three separate occasions.
Castro’s brothers, Pedro and Onil, were also arrested Monday. But Victor Perez, chief deputy prosecutor for Cleveland, said there is no evidence that either – who did not live at the Seymour Ave. home – had any involvement in the crimes against the three women or Berry’s daughter. Both face Thursday court hearings on outstanding misdemeanor warrants, Perez said.
Earlier Wednesday, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus returned to their Cleveland homes, where they were surrounded by family and friends. Knight was still in a Cleveland hospital Wednesday.
DeJesus, wearing a lime green hoodie, stepped from a car, and gave a thumbs up as the crowd chanted “Gina! Gina!” A woman then pulled her into a tight embrace and hustled her inside through a forest of flowers and balloons.
Nancy Ruiz, DeJesus’ mother, thanked those who had helped the family over the past nine years. “Even the ones that doubted, I want to thank them the most,” she said. “They’re the ones that made me stronger, the ones that made me feel the most that my daughter was out there.”
Gina’s aunt, Sandra Ruiz, called on friends, relatives and the media “to give us time and privacy to heal.”
“There are not enough words to say or express the joy that we feel with the return of our family member, Gina,” she said. “And now Amanda Berry, the daughter, and Michelle Knight, who is our family also.”
Ruiz also called on the community to help search for Ashley Summers, another young woman from the area who went missing at the age of 14 in 2007.
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- Castro charged with kidnapping, rape (newsnet5.com)
- Ariel Castro, Cleveland kidnapping suspect, helped look for missing girl (cbsnews.com)
- Ohio man charged with kidnap, rape in Cleveland, prosecutor says (voicerussia.com)
- Castro Charged With Multiple Felonies In Cleveland Kidnapping Case (politics.kfyi.com)
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