News / USA

Cleveland Man Pleads Not Guilty in Kidnapping of 3 Women

Ariel Castro (C) enters the courtroom for his arraignment in Cleveland, Ohio, June 12, 2013.Ariel Castro (C) enters the courtroom for his arraignment in Cleveland, Ohio, June 12, 2013.
x
Ariel Castro (C) enters the courtroom for his arraignment in Cleveland, Ohio, June 12, 2013.
Ariel Castro (C) enters the courtroom for his arraignment in Cleveland, Ohio, June 12, 2013.
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.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid