County Prosecutor to Seek Charges Against Castro

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CLEVELAND -- Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said Thursday he would present Ariel Castro's case to the grand jury.

"Based on the facts, I fully intend to seek charges for each and every act of sexual violence, rape, each day of kidnapping, every felonious assault, all his attempted murders and each act of aggravated murder he committed by terminating pregnancies that the offender perpetuated against the hostages during this decade-long ordeal (in violation of the Ohio code)," McGinty said.

Castro, 52, was charged with kidnapping and rape, accused of holding Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus against their will for a decade.

The women and a child born in captivity escaped Castro's Seymour Avenue home on Monday.

“This child kidnapper operated a torture chamber and private prison in the heart of our city,” McGinty said.

Prosecutors will also use a formal process to decide whether to seek charges eligible for the death penalty.

"Capital punishment must be reserved for those crimes that are truly the worst examples of human conduct," McGinty explained.

His message also included words of praise and appreciation.

"On behalf of all the citizens of Cuayhoga County, I salute and thank the heroes this case has already revealed.  First and foremost, the victims who have found the internal strength and courage to outlast their tormentor and survive this decade of torture and depravity," McGinty said.

The Cleveland Courage Fund has been established to help the victims.  Click here for details on how to make a monetary or in-kind donation.

See below for the live blog of the press conference ...

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