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
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.