The Slatest

Ariel Castro Charged With Kidnapping, Rape; “No Evidence” Brothers Were Involved

Ariel Castro is shown in Cleveland, Ohio in this May 7, 2013 booking photo provided by the Cleveland Police Department. Castro and his two brothers, Onil and Pedro, were arrested in connection with the abduction of three Cleveland women found alive after vanishing in their own neighborhood for about a decade.
Ariel Castro is shown in Cleveland, Ohio in this May 7, 2013 booking photo provided by the Cleveland Police Department

Photo by Cleveland Police Department/Reuters

Authorities today filed kidnapping and rape charges against Ariel Castro, the man they say held three women captive inside his Cleveland house for roughly a decade. Prosecutors, however, cleared the man’s two brothers who they had also arrested earlier this week in connection with the case.

Ariel Castro was charged with four counts of kidnapping, one each for the three women who went missing in the early 2000s—Michelle Knight, Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry—and a fourth for Berry’s 6-year-old daughter who was rescued Monday along with the women. Castro was also charged with three counts of rape, one for each of the three women.


The 52-year-old former school bus driver owns the two-story house from which the women were rescued on Monday evening. He will be arraigned in court tomorrow.


There was “no evidence” that his brothers—Pedro, 54, and Onil, 50—were involved, according to Cleveland city prosecutor Victor Perez. Both of the brothers, however, will be in court Thursday morning on warrants for outstanding misdemeanors unrelated to the case.

Officials are still keeping quiet on many of the details of the horrors the women likely suffered while locked away in the house, but a city councilman briefed on the case, Brian Cummins, painted a dark picture earlier today. Here’s the Associated Press with the tough-to-read details:


[Cummins] said that they were subjected to prolonged sexual and psychological abuse and suffered miscarriages. Cummins also said the women were kept in the basement for some time.

“We know that the victims have confirmed miscarriages, but with who, how many and what conditions we don’t know,” he said. He added: “It sounds pretty gruesome.”

Knight was the first of the three girls to disappear, in August of 2002. Berry went missing in April 2003 after last being seen leaving her job at a Cleveland-area Burger King. She disappeared the day before her 17th birthday. One year later, Dejesus, then 14, went missing while walking home from her middle school in the same part of the city.

This post has been updated with additional information.

Read more in Slate about the Cleveland kidnapping cases.