Ariel Castro Charged With Rape, Kidnapping; Held on $8 Million Bail
The Cleveland man accused of the horrifying abduction and rape of three women over the last 10-plus years, Ariel Castro, was arraigned in court on Thursday morning. He is being held on $8 million bail—$2 million for each of the three women he kidnapped and for the young girl one of the women gave birth to while in captivity.
On Wednesday Castro was formally charged with rape and kidnapping of Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus, plus the kidnapping of Berry's daughter. It is likely that Castro fathered the child, but he has yet to take a paternity test.
Castro's brothers, Onil and Pedro, who were initially arrested along with Ariel, were also in court, but they were not charged with rape or kidnapping. They were released following the hearing. It appears that only Ariel knew of the ghastly events going on at the Seymour Avenue home on Cleveland's West Side where Berry, Knight and DeJesus were held for 10, 11 and nine years, respectively.
New details, found in a Cleveland Police report, also emerged regarding the conditions and horrors the women were subjected to while Castro held them captive. Police found chains and ropes in the basement where all three women were bound for years. On only two occasions were they let outside, both times merely to walk to the nearby garage.
Amanda Berry's daughter, Jocelyn, now 6 years old, was delivered by Michelle Knight into a plastic pool in the house. Castro allegedly told Knight that if the baby died during delivery, he would kill her too. At one point after the delivery, the baby stopped breathing. Knight then breathed into the baby's mouth, reviving her and saving her own life in the process.
Knight says she was impregnated five times while in captivity, and that each time she miscarried. Castro would starve her for weeks, then punch her repeatedly in the stomach, inducing the miscarriages.