Ariel Castro charged with rape, kidnapping

No charges filed against his two brothers; prosecutors say girls never had chance to escape in 10 years
Associated Press
May 8, 2013

 

A Cleveland man arrested after three women missing for a decade were found alive at his run-down home was charged Wednesday with kidnapping and raping them. Prosecutors brought no charges against his brothers, saying there was no evidence they had any part in the crime.

Ariel Castro, 52, was charged with four counts of kidnapping — covering all three captives and the daughter born to one of them while she was held — and three counts of rape against the three women.

The former school bus driver owns the peeling home where the women were rescued on Monday, after one of them broke through a screen door while Castro apparently was away.

At a news conference, authorities gave few details on the women's ordeal. But police said earlier in the day that they were apparently bound with ropes and chains, and a city councilman briefed on the case, Brian Cummins, said that they were subjected to prolonged sexual and psychological abuse and suffered miscarriages.

"We know that the victims have confirmed miscarriages, but with who, how many and what conditions we don't know," Cummins said. He added: "It sounds pretty gruesome."

Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba said the women could remember being outside only twice during their entire time in captivity. "We were told they left the house and went into the garage in disguise," he said.

And their first opportunity to escape didn't come until Monday, he said. The women were not kept in the same room, but knew they were not alone, he said.

He also said a paternity test on Castro was being done to establish who fathered the now 6-year-old child of captive Amanda Berry.

Castro was in custody and couldn't be reached for comment. A brother-in-law has said the family was "shocked" after hearing about the women at the home.

Castro's brothers, Pedro, 54, and Onil, 50, were also arrested after the women were rescued, but there was no evidence they had any part in the crime, Cleveland Prosecutor Victor Perez said.

Earlier in the day, Berry and former captive Gina DeJesus were welcomed home by jubilant crowds of loved ones and neighbors with balloons and banners Wednesday. Family members protectively took them inside, past hundreds of reporters and onlookers.

Neither woman spoke, and their families pleaded for patience and time alone.

"Give us time and privacy to heal," said Sandra Ruiz, DeJesus' aunt. Ruiz thanked police for rescuing the women and urged the public not to retaliate against the suspects or their families.

The third captive, Michelle Knight, 32, was reported in good condition at Metro Health Medical Center, which a day earlier had reported that all three victims had been released. There was no immediate explanation from the hospital.

The Associated Press does not usually identify people who may be victims of sexual assault, but the names of the women were widely circulated by their families, friends and law enforcement authorities for years during their disappearance.

In a development that astonished and exhilarated much of Cleveland, the three women were rescued after Berry, 27, broke through a screen door at the Castro house and told a 911 dispatcher: "Help me. I'm Amanda Berry. I've been kidnapped, and I've been missing for 10 years and I'm, I'm here, I'm free now."

Law enforcement officials left many questions unanswered, including how the women were taken captive.

Neighbors said that Ariel Castro took part in the search for one of the missing women, helped pass out fliers, performed music at a fundraiser for her and attended a candlelight vigil, where her comforted her mother. As recently as 2005, Castro was accused of repeated acts of violence against his children's mother.

On NBC's "Today" show, Police Chief Michael McGrath said he was "absolutely" sure police did everything they could to find the women over the years. He disputed claims by neighbors that officers had been called to the house before for suspicious circumstances.

"We have no record of those calls coming in over the past 10 years," McGrath said. On Tuesday, some neighbors said that they had told police years ago about hearing pounding on the doors of the home and seeing a naked woman crawling in the yard.

DeJesus, who disappeared in 2004 and is in her early 20s, arrived home in the afternoon Wednesday to chants of "Gina! Gina!" Wearing a bright yellow hooded sweatshirt, she was led through the crowd and into the house by a woman who put her arm around the young woman's shoulders and held her tight.

Her father pumped his fist after arriving home with his daughter, and he urged people across the country to watch over the children in their neighborhoods — including other people's kids.

"Too many kids these days come up missing, and we always ask this question: How come I didn't see what happened to that kid? Why? Because we chose not to," he said

Berry arrived at her sister's home, which was similarly festooned with dozens of colorful balloons and signs, one reading "We Never Lost Hope Mandy." Hundreds cheered wildly but weren't able to get a glimpse of Berry as she went in through the back.

A 2005 domestic-violence filing in Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court accused Ariel Castro of twice breaking the nose of his children's mother, knocking out a tooth, dislocating each shoulder and threatening to kill her and her daughters three or four times in a year.

The filing for a protective order by Grimilda Figueroa also said that Castro frequently abducted her daughters and kept them from her.

In 1993, Castro was arrested on a domestic-violence charge and spent three days in jail before he was released on bail. A grand jury did not return an indictment against him, according to court documents, which don't detail the allegations. It was unclear who brought the charge.

Police said Castro was also questioned about the 2007 disappearance of 14-year-old Ashley Summers, who vanished near the Castro house. But Tomba said there was no new information linking that case to Castro.

"We're hoping for our miracle, too," said Ashley's aunt, Debra Summers.

Comments

Don Hardy

don't post here often..but this is strange to me.. the two brothers are not charged????? I thought they were in this house with this guy?? Which means they knew about it??? yes? no? So if they knew and didn't tell a sole about it? isn't that hiding evidence to a crime? not understanding this at all...

Kimo

Not charged at this time.........

2cents's picture
2cents

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Remarks advocating illegal or violent actions.

Cowboy

He'll get his fill of rape in prison when Bubba gets a hold of him!

didhejustsaythat76

Really the brothers are not guilty ? Someone better do some more homework on that ! how does something like this go on for that long at the extent of what had happened ?chains ? ropes? rape ?bearing a child through all that as well ?and he gets kidnapping and rape charges ? people like this dont happen over night and doesnt the fact that he used to drive a school bus full of your children or mine make the story seem a little deeper ? i would tie this scumbag to the bumper of a truck and drag him down a rocky dirt road if i only KNEW i was gonna get a measly "wreckless OP " out of it .our system is so broke it isnt funny and freaks like this seem to be mass producing all over the place ! living next to people for years going unnoticed .is anyone safe these days ? What about "Attempted murder"? seeing he took 10 plus years of these girls lives an intended on a lifelong torturing ! put him in a room with these girls and chain him up give them both sludgehammers and let them decide his fate !! stop wasting tons of the taxpayers cash on figuring out "WHY" theres only one thing these people need ,and its not a cot and three squares a day !

eriemom

Human waste of space-yes, but the answer to why may help the next child. It might remind us that we are our brother's keeper. Your child is a part of the community that I want to be safe for mine. I will rat you out. I will rat on your child when I see him/her acting inappropriately. That does not make me a snitch. It makes me a caring part of our community.

KURTje

Prison justice rapidly approaching!! Get ready to be every 1's itch!

Truth or Dare

It was reported today that Amanda's daughter was born in a water-filled inflatable pool in the house. There were also more than a couple of miscarriages the girls suffered through over the years. I would think murder charges would be appropriate! That's just me.

Channel 5 News stated Key Bank has set up a fund for them w/100% of the donations going to them. If anyone is interested it's called: The Cleveland Courage Fund @ 1422 Euclid Ave., Ste. 1300 - Cleveland, OH. 44115. This is a legite fundraiser, and the News station warned to be leery of frauds/scams.

Thoughts and prayers for strength and healing, and may they be a sign of hope for all families of missing/exploited children!

Mime Bloggling

One of the questions I'd like answered is...are the Castro Brothers natural born citizens or possibly illegal aliens?

Oh...BENGHAZI. Thought I'd just mention that since the SR is avoiding it like the plague.

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

Let me add KERMIT GOSNELL to the plague list.

santown419

They are puerto rican so yes they are legal.

The Big Dog's back

If that's all you right wingers have is Benghazi then it's bush 5000, Obama 4.

coasterfan

Benghazi isn't in the news for two reasons. There is nothing new to report on this "mountain out of a molehill" which inexplicably, is still being pushed by Republicans. Secondly, while an unfortunate incident any way you look at it, the death of 4 Americans pales in comparison to the deaths of thousands of Americans in the two unnecessary pre-emotive wars during the past decade. And, oh yeah, 9/11, which is a far better example of American leadership ignoring warnings and being caught asleep at the wheel.
How interesting that you chose to comment on Benghazi on the same day a book written by a Romney staffer was published. In it, author Schoenfeld chronicles how Romney and Republicans were wrong on the issue.

Darwin's choice

You're going to drown in the kool aid. Denial of the massive cover up by this administration is appaling. But "what difference does it make" !! Obama Fail!! But you keep on deflecting your hero's failure's!

deertracker

You would know all about drowning. You can't even admit that you were LIED to repeatedly about Iraq, 911, and so much more. You haters need to get a life. Obama is the President, like it or not. Who is your hero?

Darwin's choice

same comment as above to you! Liar-in-chief Fail! He's responsible. "Us" haters? Look in the mirror! Obama's phone call to a gay basketball player was nice though!

deertracker

So you hate gays too! Nice!

Darwin's choice

Where in your twisted, illogical brain do you see any possible combination of words to justify your moronic statement?

The Big Dog's back

Why did you bring it up then?

Darwin's choice

Hear the toilet seat go up and you show up......

xdefiance's picture
xdefiance

this is Fidel Alejandro Castro cousin right?

luvblues2

Others and I have stated many times in these comment sections that the prisoners who commit these type of crimes do not get sent to general population.

They go into protective custody inside the jails and prisons.

This "Bubba" you speak of, only gets the little pretty boys and otherwise frail indivuduals for his pleasure.

Quit watching so much TV.

deertracker

The CPD failed big time. They can chase down two unarmed citizens and pump hundreds of bullets into them but can't find the ladies right under their noses. Pitiful! I agree with you luvblues2. Too much tv going on here.....lol!

arnmcrmn

Do you know how many unsolved kidnapping cases there are in America? This isn't the first time someone was found years later after being held captive under lock and chain.

Cant win with your crowd. If the police would of showed up with no motive, no information and wanted a search warrant, you would be on here crying how they are violating someones privacy and civil rights.

Did you watch the Charles Ramsey interview? He BBQ'd with this guy. Danced to salsa. Had beers in his back yard and had NOOOOO CLUE, there was anything like this going on. Are cops to now start going door to door on a yearly basis in every neighborhood asking to enter to make sure there are no prisoners?

Please tell me with proof and a solid point how this is the police departments fault?

Crawl back into the hole you came from.

Kimo

Re: Benghazi

Distraction from the real issues.

end of story

arnmcrmn

As Hillary Clinton would say......we have dead American's....what does it matter now?

If Americans and police had that same philosophy when they find a dead body or someone shoots up a local store.....hey, its after the fact, what does it matter now......just turn a blind eye and move on.

Liberals will continue to cover their Muslim brother up and blame things in the past that have NOTHING to do with Benghazi. Its a nice try, but huge fail.

Here comes a 9-11, Bush or Republican comment that wont deal with the Benghazi lies in 3.....2....1......