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Published: Thursday, 5/9/2013

Bond for Cleveland suspect set at $8 million

BY TAYLOR DUNGJEN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Ariel Castro appears in Cleveland Municipal court today. He was charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape.  Ariel Castro appears in Cleveland Municipal court today. He was charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

CLEVELAND -- Bond for the man accused of holding captive three women for more than a decade was set at $8 million today.

Ariel Castro, 52, is charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape. Wearing a navy blue jail-issued jumpsuit, Mr. Castro was arraigned in Cleveland Municipal Court -- in front of dozens of reporters representing news stations from around the globe -- and ordered to be held in jail.

The lone known suspect was quiet during the proceedings.

Assistant Prosecutor Brian Murphy said the situation has turned: Mr. Castro is in captivity and the women are free.

Mr. Murphy said the women were used for Mr. Castro's "self-serving and self-gratifying" needs. He said the women were beaten, bound, and restrained.

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He was arraigned by Judge Lauren Moore and represented by Kathleen DeMetz, a public defender.

A spokesman for the court said the media presence in Cleveland Municipal Court is "unprecedented."

Mr. Castro is accused of kidnapping and raping three women -- Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight -- in his Seymour Avenue home in a near west side neighborhood.

A 6-year-old girl, believed to be Ms. Berry's daughter, was also found in the home. The total bond for Mr. Castro represents $2 million for each of the four cases against Mr. Castro, representing the three women and the young girl.

Court documents allege that Mr. Castro lured the women -- then teenagers -- into his vehicle and took them to his home where they were held and repeatedly sexually assaulted.

Prior to Mr. Castro's arraignment, his brothers Pedro, 54, and Onil, 50, were arraigned on unrelated misdemeanor charges.

The brothers were arrested with Mr. Castro, initially believed to be additional suspects in the case, but police said during a Wednesday evening news conference that the men appeared to have no knowledge of the crimes.

Pedro and Onil Castro were arraigned on one count each of open container; Onil Castro is also charged with drug abuse.

Pedro Castro pleaded no contest and was awarded time served.



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