Contact Us

Ohio Kidnapping, Rape Suspect Ariel Castro Pleads Not Guilty

Ariel Castro
usatoday.com

CLEVELAND (AP) — A Cleveland man accused of holding three women captive in his home for more than a decade has pleaded not guilty to 512 counts of kidnapping and 446 counts of rape.

Ariel Castro previously pleaded not guilty to charges contained in a 329-count indictment.

The 53-year-old Castro entered a plea Wednesday on an expanded, 977-count indictment. The judge continued his bond at $8 million.

She repeatedly told Castro to raise his head and keep his eyes open during the brief court appearance.

The earlier indictment reflected only part of the alleged crimes’ time frame. It contains aggravated murder charges alleging that Castro purposely caused the unlawful termination of the pregnancy of one of the women.

The women disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old. Each said they had accepted a ride from Castro.

He has been jailed since his May 6 arrest.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

The Cleveland man accused of holding three women captive in his home for over a decade faced arraignment Wednesday on an expanded indictment charging him with 512 counts of kidnapping and 446 counts of rape, among other crimes.

The newest charges returned Friday by a grand jury against Ariel Castro expanded on a 329-count indictment filed earlier that covered only part of the time frame of the alleged crimes.

Castro, 53, has been jailed since his arrest on May 6 shortly after the women escaped to freedom. In past court appearances, he has kept his head down, typically responding to a judge’s questions with one-word answers.

Castro has been charged with two counts of aggravated murder related to one act, saying he purposely caused the unlawful termination of the pregnancy of one of the women.

Besides kidnapping and rape, the new, 977-count indictment also charges him with seven counts of gross sexual imposition, six counts of felonious assault, three counts of child endangerment and one count of possessing criminal tools.

The women appeared in a YouTube video last week to thank people who donated to a fund created to benefit them. They otherwise have sought to stay out of sight and have appealed for privacy.

Castro is scheduled for trial on Aug. 5, a date that could be delayed if the defense requests more preparation time.

He pleaded not guilty to the earlier indictment of 329 counts. His legal team has hinted Castro would plead guilty if the death penalty was off the table.

Castro is accused of repeatedly restraining the women, sometimes chaining them to a pole in a basement, to a bedroom heater or inside a van. The charges say one of the women tried to escape and he assaulted her with a vacuum cord around her neck.

Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus and Michelle Knight disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old. Each said they had accepted a ride from Castro, who remained friends with Dejesus’ family and even attended vigils over the years marking her disappearance.

Berry has a 6-year-old daughter fathered by Castro, authorities said.

Castro has been held on $8 million bail. Cuyahoga County jail logs show him spending most of his time sleeping, lying on his bunk, watching TV and occasionally drawing or exercising.

More from Newstalk 1050

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://ksisradio.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on KSIS Radio 1050 AM, News-Sports-Weather quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Sign up for an account to comment, share your thoughts, and earn points to get great prizes.

Register on KSIS Radio 1050 AM, News-Sports-Weather quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!