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Ariel Castro Appears in Court to Face Charges of Rape, Kidnapping

May 9, 2013 at 12:00 AM EST
Ariel Castro, the man accused of holding three women captive in a Cleveland home for a decade, appeared in court and was arraigned on charges of rape and kidnapping. Prosecutors say Castro repeatedly beat and sexually assaulted the women. Ray Suarez reports.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: And we turn again to the shocking story in Cleveland of three women held captive and abused for a decade. Today, the man accused in the case appeared before a judge.

Ray Suarez has the latest.

MAN: Ariel Castro.

RAY SUAREZ: Ariel Castro kept his head bowed and buried throughout his early morning appearance in Cleveland Municipal Court. It was his first public appearance since he was arrested Monday in the kidnapping of three women, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight.

All had been held captive in Castro’s Cleveland home since their separate disappearances between 2002 and 2004. Prosecutors said today the former school bus driver repeatedly beat and sexually assaulted the women.

TIMOTHY MCGINTY, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Prosecutor: This child kidnapper operated a torture chamber and private prison in the heart of our city. The horrific brutality and torture that the victims endured for a decade is beyond comprehension.

RAY SUAREZ: The New York Times reported today that, according to a police document, the women were chained in the basement for years before finally being moved to the second floor.

It also said Knight told police she’d been impregnated by Castro on multiple occasions and that each time, he starved and punched her until she miscarried. Castro didn’t enter a plea today to the four counts of kidnapping, one for each of the women, plus Berry’s six-year-old daughter conceived in captivity, and to three counts of rape.

His bond was set at $8 million dollars, $3 million more than the prosecution requested. After the proceedings, Castro’s public defender said her client will likely be kept isolated.

KATHLEEN DEMETZ, Public Defender: I would imagine he will be in a single cell, and I would imagine he probably will be under a suicide watch observation unit.

RAY SUAREZ: Castro’s brothers, Pedro and Onil, also appeared in court on unrelated misdemeanor charges. They were later released from custody. Authorities say the two men knew nothing about the women allegedly being held captive in their brother’s home.