CLEVELAND-- Ariel Castro now faces a 977-count indictment. He had already been charged in a more than 300-count indictment.
The 53-year-old is accused of kidnapping Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus and holding them hostage at his Seymour Ave. home in Cleveland for nearly a decade.
Friday's indictment covers the entire time period from August of 2002 to May of 2013, when the women escaped.
Castro will be arraigned July 17 on the new indictment.
All three women released a video this week, thanking the public for their support.
The new indictments also have child endangerment charges for the alleged treatment of his 6-year-old daughter that Castro fathered with Berry.
The 977 total charges break down as follows:
- Two counts of aggravated murder
- 512 counts of kidnapping
- 446 counts of rape
- Seven counts of gross sexual imposition
- Six counts of felonious assault
- Three counts of child endangerment
- One count of possessing criminal tools
The grand jury indicted Castro with about one count of kidnapping and rape for each victim, for each month, they were reportedly held captive.
The two aggravated murder charges relate to a single incident involving an unborn child.
The initial police report indicates that Knight said Castro beat her when she became pregnant to force miscarriages.
Castro's attorneys, Craig Weintraub and Jaye Schlachet, released the following statement after the new indictment came down:
“The first indictment only contained charges through early 2007 so we expected additional charges from a grand jury. We are pleased that we were able to convince the prosecutor's office to not seek and obtain the death penalty in this new indictment. It is our hope that we can continue to work toward a resolution of this matter so that the women do not have to endure any additional trauma.”
Prosecutors have not decided if they will seek the death penalty. In the new indictment, the state retains the option of adding a death penalty specification.