Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro in court



A car carrying Amanda Berry arrives at her sister's house, on May 8, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. Three brothers have been arrested in connection with the kidnapping of three women, including Amanda Berry. They were found safe in a home after being missing for a decade, authorities said. There were more questions than answers the day after the stunning turn of events that began with a frantic arm sticking out of a screen door, a woman screaming for help, and a neighbor kicking in the door to free her in a working-class neighborhood of the city in the American heartland. Ariel Castro and his brothers - Pedro, 54, and Onil, 50 have been detained, authorities said.



Bail for Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro was set at $8 million on Thursday, as he appeared in court and details emerged of the shocking cruelty he inflicted on his three victims.

A cousin of Gina DeJesus, who was snatched when she was 14, said Castro, 52, would give each victim dinner and a cake on the anniversary of their abduction, The New York Times reported 

For the 10 years they were held in captivity "like dogs", Castro "would celebrate their abduction as their new birthday," said the cousin who did not wish to be named.

Castro, who was charged Wednesday with the rape and kidnappinng of Amanda Berry, DeJesus and Michelle Knight, appeared in court Thursday morning, but did not speak, the Associated Press reported.

Dressed in a dark blue prison suit, Castro stared at the floor throughout the short hearing, biting his collar and signing documents with his hands handcuffed.

Prosecutor Brian Murphy told the court Castro had "snatched three young ladies from the streets" and forced them to endure a "horrifying ordeal for more than a decade", USA Today reported.

Murphy told Judge Lauren Moore, "The charges against Mr. Castro are based on [the] premeditated and depraved decision to snatch the three young ladies ... to be used in whatever self-gratifying, self-satisfying way he saw fit."

"When in captivity, they withstood repeated debasing,” Murphy said, the New York Daily News reported.

“They were bound and restrained and actually assaulted, basically never free to leave this residence."

Public defender Kathleen DeMetz told the judge her client was unemployed and had no previous convictions for felonies or serious misdemeanors. 

Outside court DeMetz told reporters Castro had been kept on suicide watch.

Murphy noted that the girls disappeared suddenly almost 10 years ago, but re-emerged "thankfully and miraculously" three days ago.

BBC reported that in addition to the rape and kidnapping charges, Castro was also charged with kidnapping the 6-year-old daughter Ms. Berry gave birth to, and the authorities said he would undergo a paternity test.

The Cleveland Court judge ordered that Castro be held Thursday on $8 million bond, which is $2 million bond on each of the four charges against him, CNN reported.

Castro's two older brothers have not been charged, with police citing a lack of evidence.