The Lookout

Ariel Castro faces rape, kidnapping charges while two women return home to raucous crowds

CLEVELAND— A man accused of holding three young women captive for the past decade at his home has been charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape. The charges came the same day two of the three women were reunited at home with their families.

Ariel Castro, 52, is expected to appear Thursday in Cleveland Municipal Court on the charges. He, along with his brothers, Pedro, 54, and Onil, 50, were arrested Monday after victim Amanda Berry, 27, escaped from Ariel Castro’s home on the city’s west side.

After Berry called police, victims Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32, were able to escape, as well.

Ariel Castro faces four kidnapping charges because Berry's daughter, now 6, was held captive in the house as well. According to court documents, Castro repeatedly raped the women while he held them in captivity.

Court documents also show that authorities will ask the judge to set a high bond to ensure the safety of the victims and other citizens in the community, and ensure he doesn't skip out on court proceedings.

Ariel Castro's brothers have not been charged, but remain in police custody.

Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba told reporters the women had been let outside twice in 10 years to walk from the Castro's house to the garage in the rear of the home. The women were forced to wear disguises on those occasions, he said.

City Councilman Brian Cummins, who told the Associated Press he was briefed by police on the case, said the three women were subjected to prolong sexual and psychological abuse. He said the women suffered multiple miscarriages while kidnapped.

The councilman also told the AP that the women were kept in a basement and were apparently bound with ropes and chains.

While Knight remains in a local hospital, both Berry and DeJesus went home to raucous crowds.

Berry and her daughter, Jocelyn, were taken by police escort to Berry's sister’s home, while DeJesus returned to her parents' tan bungalow. Both families live in the city's west side neighborhood, just a few miles from the ramshackle row house where they were were apparently held as prisoners.

Berry had been expected to address the crush of press awaiting her arrival after she and her daughter were taken home. But her sister, Beth Serrano, spoke briefly instead, saying Berry needed time to recover first.

“I want to thank the public and the media for their support,” Serrano said. “At this time our family would request privacy so my sister, niece and I have time to recover. We appreciate all you have done for us for the past 10 years. Please respect our privacy until we are ready to make our statement."

DeJesus, wearing a bright yellow hoodie was quickly taken inside without speaking or showing her face. She was seen giving a thumbs up to the crowd of reporters and onlookers assembled outside.

Her parents, Felix DeJesus and Nancy Ruiz, and aunt Sandra Ruiz thanked the police and FBI for their assistance in the investigation. They asked for patience and promised to take reporter questions soon.

"The three of them are doing great. Those were miracles," Nancy Ruiz said of her daughter, Berry and Knight.

Editor's note: Stacklin reported from Cleveland and Fouhy from New York.

View Comments (3745)