Ariel Castro Indicted on 329 Counts
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Ariel Castro, 52, has been indicted on 329 counts, including aggravated murder, County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced Friday.
He’s accused of abducting Michelle Knight, now 32, in August 2002; Amanda Berry, now 27, a day before her 17th birthday in April 2003; and Gina DeJesus, now 23, in April 2004.
DNA tests revealed a daughter born to Berry six years ago was fathered by Castro.
The indictments cover only the period from August of 2002, when the first of the three women discovered in his Seymour Avenue house last month disappeared, until February of 2007.
Castro was indicted for one act of aggravated murder – for purposely and with prior calculation and design causing the unlawful termination of another’s pregnancy, as covered by Sections 2903.01(A) and (B) of the Ohio Revised Code, according to the release.
He was also indicted on 139 counts of rape, 177 counts of kidnapping, seven counts of gross sexual imposition, three counts of felonious assault and one count of possession of criminal tools.
He will be arraigned on those charges next week, and a trial judge will be assigned at that time, according to the release.
“Today’s indictments represent a first major step in the criminal justice process,’’ McGinty said in a release. “Our investigation continues, and we will present our findings to the grand jury.’’
Jim Wooley, attorney for Berry and DeJesus, and Kathy Joseph, attorney for Knight, issued a statement Friday evening in reaction to the indictments, saying the women have “confidence and faith in the prosecutor’s office.”
When the indictment process is complete, the County Prosecutor’s Capital Review Committee will consider whether the case is appropriate to attach a death penalty specification, according to the release.
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