Cleveland kidnap suspect's bond set at $8M

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by RUSSELL GOLDMAN (@GoldmanRussell) , JOSH MARGOLIN and MATT JAFFE

WHAS11.com

Posted on May 9, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Updated Thursday, May 9 at 12:41 PM

(ABC News) --  Ariel Castro, the Cleveland man accused of abducting three young women and keeping them as sex slaves in his home for a decade, appeared in court today charged with rape and kidnapping.
Castro was charged with four charges of kidnap, one for each women and the 6-year-old child whom one of his alleged victims delivered while in captivity. He was charged with three counts of rape.

Bail was set at $2 million per case, for a total of $8 million. Castro is an unemployed, former school bus driver.

Castro, who is on suicide watch, did not enter a plea or speak. Unshaven and wearing a dark-blue prison jumpsuit, he kept his head down through the proceedings and signed documents with shackled hands.



Castro was charged with four charges of kidnap, one for each women and the 6-year-old child whom one of his alleged victims delivered while in captivity. He was charged with three counts of rape.

Bail was set at $2 million per case, for a total of $8 million. Castro is an unemployed, former school bus driver.

Castro, who is on suicide watch, did not enter a plea or speak. Unshaven and wearing a dark-blue prison jumpsuit, he kept his head down through the proceedings and signed documents with shackled hands.

"The situation has turned," assistant prosecutor Brian Murphy told the court. "Castro is the captive in captivity."

Castro likely will face additional charges after a grand jury hearing.

Despite years of looking for the women -- Amanda Berry, 27, Michele Knight, 32, and Gina DeJesus, 23 -- individually abducted between 2002 and 2004, there were no leads in any of the cases until Monday, when a neighbor heard Berry screaming from behind a locked door and helped free the women.

Castro's two brothers, Onil Castro, 50, and Pedro Castro, 54, who were arrested with him, were not charged in connection with this case. Both men appeared in court on old misdemeanor charges.

Onil was given credit for time he served while being question since Monday. Charges against Pedro were dropped. They were both released this morning.

 The court documents released Wednesday give the clearest clues yet in the investigation on how the women were treated in captivity. Ariel Castro lured each victim from the street and into his car, according to the documents. Knight was abducted first in 2002 and brought to the kidnap suspect's modest two-story home on Seymour Avenue. She would later be joined by Berry in 2003 and DeJesus a year later.

Police made it clear they believe that each kidnap victim was "repeatedly sexually assaulted by the defendant," and that the abuse occurred "during the entire course of captivity," according to charging documents filed in court Wednesday.

The women were initially chained in the basement and sexually assaulted, a senior official from the Cleveland Police Department told ABC News. Later, when their "spirits were broken," they were allowed to be in other parts of the house, the official said.

Knight, Castro's first alleged kidnapping victim, told police she was impregnated five times by Castro, ABC News affiliate WEWS-TV reported. In each case, she reportedly was made to abort the fetus when he punched her in the belly.

In newly released police audio tapes, a 911 dispatcher notified officers Monday that he had just spoken to a woman who "says her name is Amanda Berry and that she had been kidnapped 10 years ago."

 An officer on the recorded call says, "This might be for real."

After police arrived at the house, women can be heard crying in the background. Then an officer tells the dispatcher: "We found 'em. We found 'em."

As Knight remains hospitalized, Berry and DeJesus returned home Wednesday to reunite with family members they have not seen in a decade.

 DeJesus didn't speak much when she arrived home, but immediately bonded with her family members, her relatives told ABC News. Upon seeing her father for the first time in the hospital, DeJesus asked her father, "Dad, did you stop smoking yet?"

Family members also told ABC News that DeJesus had forgotten how to speak Spanish.

Hours earlier, Berry arrived at her sister Beth Serrano's home with Jocelyn. Serrano asked for privacy for her sister as she readjusts to life outside of captivity.

Meanwhile, FBI Evidence Response Team and a K-9 Unit Wednesday entered a vacant house two doors from the suspect's house dressed in hazmat suits. There has been no comment on why the home was searched and whether anything of significance was found.

ABC News' Alyssa Newcomb and Anthony Castellano contributed to this report.

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