Ariel Castro pleads not guilty in kidnap of three women

Ariel Castro, 52, is shown in this Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office booking photo taken on May 9, 2013. Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office/Handout via Reuters
Ariel Castro, 52, is shown in this Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office booking photo taken on May 9, 2013. Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office/Handout via Reuters

The Ohio man accused of holding three young women captive in his Cleveland house for a decade pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to more than 300 criminal charges including rape, kidnapping and murder.

Former school bus driver Ariel Castro, 52, was indicted last week on 329 charges for the kidnapping and confinement of the women, who were freed from his house on May 6 along with a 6-year-old girl he fathered with one of his captives.

Cleveland was elated by the news that the three women, Gina DeJesus, 23, Michelle Knight, 32, and Amanda Berry, 27, had been found alive after years of searches and vigils.

In a court appearance to answer the charges on Wednesday, Castro kept his head down while his lawyer entered a plea of not guilty and waived a reading of the 142-page indictment. Castro is charged with aggravated murder in the assault and impregnation of Knight between November 2006 and February 2007 and forcing her to miscarry, according to the indictment.

A police report said that Castro caused Knight to suffer at least five miscarriages by starving her and beating her in the abdomen.

He is being held on an $8 million bond.

The charges against Castro cover the period from August 2002, when Knight disappeared, into 2007. More charges are possible as the criminal investigation continues, according to Cuyahoga County prosecutors.

A committee will consider seeking the death penalty after a complete indictment is issued, prosecutors said. Ohio is one of 38 states that have fetal homicide laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Berry was freed along with her 6-year-old daughter by neighbors from Castro’s house. Berry disappeared the day before her 17th birthday in 2003 after leaving her job at a Burger King restaurant. Police say DNA tests prove Castro is the father of her child.

Cleveland police responded to Berry’s 911 call and found DeJesus and Knight inside the house. DeJesus was 14 when she disappeared on her way home from school in 2004.

 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

Local

Future Boston Alliance invites you to #RidetheLine, support…

#RidetheLine aims to show the city, the nation, and the globe our creative impact as Boston citizens.

Local

(Update) Body of missing BU grad Eric Munsell…

The dead man pulled from the water at Boston's Long Wharf Wednesday afternoon was that of missing 24-year-old Boston University alumnus Eric Munsell, Boston Police said today.

National

On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

Manson Family member Squeaky Fromme told a mental health examiner in newly released interview the "X" she carved in her forehead was meant to separate her from "the system."

Music

Championship of Collegiate a Cappella: Students who are…

Tickets to this Saturday’s International Championship of Collegiate a Cappella reportedly sold out within 11 hours of going on sale.

Music

M.I.A. talks 'Matangi,' divinity, spontaneity and holograms

"There’s pressure for me to become a theatrical production like 'Glee,' or something" says M.I.A., "It’s like, 'the pressure’s on, bitches.'"

Movies

Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

NHL

NHL video highlights: Bruins edge Red Wings in…

NHL video highlights: Bruins edge Red Wings in overtime of Game 4

MLB

MLB video highlights: Yankees rout Red Sox, 14-5

Felix Doubront struggles for second time in five starts

NBA

Jason Collins named to Time's 100 Most Influential…

Jason Collins was named to the list after coming out as the first openly gay player to appear in an NBA game.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.