Ohio Kidnap: Ariel Castro Charged By Police

Ohio Kidnap: Ariel Castro Charged By Police

Ariel Castro has been charged in Ohio with kidnap and rape after police revealed his three alleged victims had only been let out of the house twice in 10 years.

Castro, 52, was held after Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, and Ms Berry's six-year-old daughter were freed from the house in Cleveland.

He has been charged with four counts of kidnapping and three of rape. The rape charges do not relate to the child.

Ahead of Castro's court appearance, a picture has been emerging of the life the women endured during their time in captivity.

It is believed the women were only allowed to leave the home briefly on two occasions, both times to go "into the garage in disguise", deputy police chief Ed Tomba told a news conference.

"They were in that home. They don't believe they've been outside of the home for the last 10 years.

"They were not in one room, but they did know each other and they did know each other was there."

He confirmed a paternity test will be carried out to identify the father of six-year-old Jocelyn, who was conceived and born during the victims' time in captivity.

Ms Berry, now 27, was reportedly forced to give birth to her daughter in an inflatable children's paddling pool.

Ms Knight, the oldest captive, alleges that Castro ordered her to help with the birth, threatening to kill her if the baby did not survive.

According to a police report obtained by local TV station WKYC-TV, Ms Knight said she gave Jocelyn mouth-to-mouth, successfully reviving her moments after she was born.

She was told to "clean up the mess" after the birth, according to the report. 

Mr Tomba refused to comment on reports that the women had become pregnant on several occasions but lost the babies after their captor beat them.

Ariel Castro allegedly "celebrated" the anniversary of each woman's abduction by serving them cake and dinner, according to reports.

A cousin of one victim told the New York Times: "He would celebrate their abduction day as their new birthday."

Police also released recordings of the moment stunned medics arrived at the scene after the women escaped.

Castro's two brothers - Pedro, 54, and Onil, 50 - were detained on Monday but are not expected to be charged in connection with the kidnappings.

"There is nothing that leads us to believe that they were involved or had any knowledge of this," Mr Tomba said. "We found no facts to link them to the crime."

Mr Tomba refused to discuss specifics of evidence discovered in the home, although earlier city police chief Michael McGrath said the women were "bound and there were chains and ropes in the hall".

Police have recovered more than 200 pieces of evidence from the house and have been searching a second property as part of their investigation.

But they are not linking Castro to any other cases.

Ms Berry, Ms DeJesus, and Ms Knight were aged 16, 14 and 20 respectively when they went missing around a decade ago.

All three were rescued when Ms Berry alerted a neighbour who helped them escape.

Ms Berry and Ms DeJesus, 23, have been welcomed back at their homes with balloons and banners, while crowds cheered as they were reunited with their families.

Sandra Ruiz, an aunt of Ms DeJesus, said there were "not enough words to express the joy we feel at the return of our family member, Gina".

Ms Berry's sister, Beth Serrano, thanked the public for their "support and courage over the years".

Ms Knight has yet to appear in public. The 32-year-old is understood to be in a good condition at a local hospital.

Following criticism of the police handling of the case, Mr McGrath said he was "absolutely" sure officers did everything they could to find the women.

He disputed claims from neighbours that officials had been called to the property previously when suspicions were raised.

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