Ohio 'kidnapper' faces 329 charges

Ariel Castro accused of imprisoning three women for a decade has been indicted by US grand jury for rape and kidnapping.

    Ohio 'kidnapper' faces 329 charges
    Castro faces two counts of aggravated murder for terminating one of the kidnapped women's pregnancies [AFP]

    A man accused of imprisoning three women for a decade in his home in Cleveland, Ohio, has been indicted by a grand jury for rape and kidnapping.

    Fifty-two year old Ariel Castro was indicted late Friday on 329 charges, with 139 counts of rape, 177 of kidnapping, seven of gross sexual imposition, three of assault, and owning criminal tools, local news reports there said.

    A 142-page indictment included one act of aggravated murder for allegedly causing the unlawful termination of the pregnancy of one of his captives.

    Death penalty

    Prosecutors have alleged that the woman miscarried as a result of beatings by Castro, and have said that they may seek the death penalty against him.

    Last month, the three women - Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight and Amanda  Berry - were freed from Castro's house, as was the young daughter that one of the women gave birth to during her captivity.

    DNA tests have confirmed that he was the father of the girl, authorities said.

    Prosecutors said that over the decade, the three women suffered repeated beatings, were bound and restrained and sexually assaulted, and never allowed to leave Castro's home.

    Castro, who is being held on an $8m bond, was arrested on May 6,  after one of the women managed to attract the attention of a neighbour, who kicked in the door to his house in a working-class neighbourhood and alerted authorities.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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