Thursday, 9 May 2013

Prosecutor: Kidnap Suspect Depraved

Already in jail on kidnapping and rape charges, accused of holding women for the better part of a decade, Ariel Castro may also face charges of murder in the termination of his captives' pregnancies, a prosecutor said.

Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Prosecutor Timothy McGinty cited Ohio law that states a person can be charged with aggravated murder for killing unborn children. A conviction on such charges could lead to the death penalty.

According to an initial incident report obtained by CNN, one of the women held said she became pregnant at least five times while in Castro's 1,400-square-foot home. When that happened, Michelle Knight told investigators, Castro "starved her for at least 2 weeks, then he repeatedly punched her in the stomach until she miscarried."

It is not known how many times, if any, the other two women got pregnant only to miscarry. One of them, Amanda Berry, gave birth to a daughter while in captivity.

In addition to aggravated murder, McGinty vowed to seek charges "for each and every act of sexual violence, rape, each day of kidnapping, every felonious assault (and) all his attempted murders."

Timeline: From missing to liberated

"The child kidnapper operated a torture chamber and private prison in the heart of the city," the prosecutor told reporters Thursday. "The horrific brutality and torture that the victims endured for a decade is beyond comprehension."

Earlier in the day, the 52-year-old Castro was arraigned in a northern Ohio court on four counts of kidnapping and three of rape.

"The charges against Mr. Castro are based on premeditated, deliberate and depraved decisions to snatch three young ladies from Cleveland's West Side streets to be used in whatever self-gratifying, self-serving way he saw fit," Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Brian Murphy said in court.

Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Lauren Moore ordered Castro held on $8 million bond -- $2 million for each of the three women and the child born to Berry before they were freed Monday evening.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

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