Ariel Castro indicted on 329 charges including kidnapping and rape
Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro was indicted on 329 charges on Friday including kidnapping and rape.
The indictment covers the period from August of 2002, when the first of the three women discovered in his Cleveland home last month disappeared, until February of 2007.
Ariel Castro, 52, was indicted for one act of aggravated murder – for purposely and with prior calculation and design causing the unlawful termination of another’s pregnancy.
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.
Ariel Castro will be arraigned on those charges next week and a trial judge will then be assigned.
“Today’s indictments represent a first major step in the criminal justice process,” said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty.
When the indictment process is complete, the County Prosecutor’s Capital Review Committee will consider whether this case is appropriate to attach the death penalty.
Ariel Castro is accused of kidnapping Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight and holding them captive along with 6-year-old Jocelyn he fathered with Berry.
His attorneys have said he will plead not guilty to any indictment.
Ariel Castro has been in the Cuyahoga County Jail since his arrest on May 6. He was charged on May 8 and was jailed on $8 million bond.
He was taken off “suicide prevention” watch on Wednesday after being monitored for the past month.
Jail logs released on Wednesday also show Ariel Castro has been visited multiple times by relatives, but did not list which family members paid a visit to the suspect, News Channel 5 reported.
They also reveal that he watched a lot of television, spent a lot of time running in place and has met with his defense attorneys. He has refused time out of his cell on at least two occasions.
They show his cells being checked for contraband items – and none being found.
Jail logs last month noted that Ariel Castro spends most of his time in his cell resting or asleep, with breaks for pacing, showers and cell cleaning.
The logs, made every 10 minutes while he was on suicide watch, documented his movements at the Cuyahoga County jail.
Ariel Castro’s attorney, Craig Weintraub, described Castro’s cell as a 9-by-9-foot cell containing a metal bed with a thin mattress covered in plastic, a metal sink, and some kind of mirror.
Previous logs said Ariel Castro walked around the cell naked early in his confinement, though he later covered up.
The logs show Ariel Castro periodically asks for the time, looks out the window and stares at the ceiling. Other entries show him thanking guards for bringing his breakfast and wishing them a good day.
Ariel Castro, a former school bus driver, was arrested May 6 after one of the women, Amanda Berry, kicked out part of a locked door of his house and yelled to neighbors to help her and call police.
Police quickly arrived and found Amanda Berry in the street before racing through the house, freeing Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. The women were admitted to a hospital but have been released.
The three disappeared between 2002 and 2004, when they were in their teens or early 20s, authorities said.
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