Judge Sets Bond At $8 Million For Cleveland Kidnapping Suspect


Ariel Castro

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CLEVELAND (FOX8) — The man accused of holding three women captive for nearly a decade faced a judge Thursday morning.

Ariel Castro, 52, is charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape. A judge set a $2 million cash bond for each case, for a total of $8 million. Ariel Castro kept his head down, partially buried in his navy jail suit, during the proceeding. He did not speak.

PICTURES: Ariel Castro in Court

His brothers, Pedro and Onil Castro, will not be charged in the case, Cleveland Division of Police Deputy Chief Edward Tomba said. They were taken into custody because they were with Ariel at the time of his arrest, Tomba further explained.

Pedro and Onil also appeared in court Thursday morning on open container charges unrelated to the case. A public defender clarified to the courtroom that neither brother faced any other charges, and requested that both be released from jail. The judge complied.

Ariel Castro is accused of inflicting unimaginable horror on Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight inside of his Seymour Avenue home. That’s where the women were found alive on Monday after Berry called out to a neighbor for help.

Court records released on Wednesday revealed that Castro lured all three women by offering them a ride. Knight was first in 2002, followed by Berry in 2003, then DeJesus in 2004.

For years, police say, the women endured physical and sexual abuse. Berry gave birth to a daughter, while Knight told investigators she was impregnated by Castro at least five times. He allegedly starved and punched Knight until she eventually miscarried.

During Thursday’s arraignment, prosecutor Brian Murphy said the women were “beaten, bound and restrained,” and never free to leave Castro’s home. Citing “justice and safety” for the victims, Murphy asked the judge to set bond at $5 million and asked for Castro to have no contact with the victims. The judge went higher: $8 million.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, both Berry and DeJesus returned home to their families. The celebrations were jubilant with friends, family and community members lining the streets for their homecoming. At the time of this report, Knight was still recovering at MetroHealth Medical Center in good condition.

Read more coverage from our sister station, FOX8 in Cleveland.

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