Prosecutors may seek death penalty for Ariel Castro, alleged abductor of Ohio girls


Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty speaks during a press conference on May 9, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio.


Matt Sullivan

An Ohio prosecutor said Thursday that he will seek the death penalty against Ariel Castro, accused of kidnapping three women, raping them and forcibly ending their pregnancies.

Castro, 52, was arraigned on rape and kidnapping charges for abducting Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus and holding them for about 10 years in his home in Cleveland, Ohio.

According to the Associated Press, police charged that he impregnated one of his captives at least five times and made her miscarry by starving her and punching her in the belly.

Another one of the women, Amanda Berry, was allegedly forced to give birth in a plastic kiddie pool.

The unemployed bus driver was on Thursday ordered by Judge Lauren Moore to be held on an $8 million bond.

Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty said at a televised news conference (see video below) that investigators would also seek new charges relating to the allegations that Castro abused some of his victims and forced them to have miscarriages.

"I fully intend to seek charges for each and every act of sexual violence, rape, each day of kidnapping, every felonious assault, all his attempted murders and each act of aggravated murder he committed by terminating pregnancies."

Castro is alleged to have beaten at least one of the women to terminate pregnancies that began while they were locked in his Cleveland home.

Castro made his first appearance in a court on Thursday dressed, The Telegraph wrote, in a baggy boiler suit and looking disheveled.

He reportedly stayed silent and kept his head bowed throughout a three-minute arraignment.

Brian Murphy, a city prosecutor, told Cleveland Municipal Court.

"Today, the situation has turned. Mr Castro stands before you a captive, in captivity, a prisoner, and the women are free."

He was then reportedly taken from the courtroom to a suicide-watch cell at Cuyahoga county jail, unable to meet bail.