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Cleveland man indicted on 329 counts in captive women case

CLEVELAND — Ariel Castro was indicted Friday on 329 counts for allegedly kidnapping and holding captive three young women in his Cleveland house for 10 years, authorities said.

One charge accuses the 52-year-old Castro of aggravated murder for purposely causing the unlawful termination of a pregnancy, authorities said. One of the young women was allegedly impregnated five times by Castro, and another bore a child fathered by him, police have said.

The indictment charges Castro with 139 counts of rape, 177 counts of kidnapping, seven counts of gross sexual imposition, three counts of felonious assault and one count of possession of criminal tools, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said in a statement.

ariel castro mug shot

Photo courtesy of Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Dept.

Castro will be arraigned next week, authorities said.

The charges cover only half of the 10 years when the three young were held captive, from August 2002 when to the first of three women disappeared off a Cleveland street, to February 2007. The three women were freed last month after one shouted for help while Castro was gone from the house.

The prosecutor’s capital review committee will consider whether the case is appropriate for seeking the death penalty once the indictment process is complete, the prosecutor’s statement said.

“Today’s indictments represent a first major step in the criminal justice process,” McGinty said in a statement. “Our investigation continues, and we will present our findings to the grand jury.”

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