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Report: Ohio captive beaten until she miscarried

By Thomas J. Sheeran

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 02:51 p.m. HST, May 09, 2013

CLEVELAND » Prosecutors said today they may seek the death penalty against Ariel Castro, the man accused of imprisoning three women at his home for a decade, as police charged that he impregnated one of his captives at least five times and then starved her and punched her in the belly until she miscarried.

The horrific allegations were contained in a police report that also said one of the women, Amanda Berry, was forced to give birth in a plastic kiddie pool.

Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty said his office will decide whether to bring aggravated murder charges punishable by death in connection with the pregnancies that were terminated by force.

"Capital punishment must be reserved for those crimes that are truly the worst examples of human conduct," he said. "The reality is we still have brutal criminals in our midst who have no respect for the rule of law or human life."

Castro, a 52-year-old former school bus driver, is being held on $8 million bail under a suicide watch in jail, where he is charged with rape and kidnapping.

The police report obtained today by news organizations said Castro threatened, starved and sexually abused the women. Other chilling details in the report:

— Berry, now 27, told officers that she was forced to give birth in a plastic pool in the house so it would be easier to clean up. Berry said she, her baby, now 6, and the two other rescued women had never been to a doctor during their captivity.

— Michelle Knight, now 32, said her five pregnancies ended after Castro starved her for at least two weeks and "repeatedly punched her in the stomach until she miscarried." She also said Castro forced her to help deliver Berry's baby under threat of death if the baby died. Knight said that when the newborn stopped breathing, she revived the child through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

— All three women said Castro chained them up in the basement but eventually let them live upstairs on the second floor. Each woman told a similar story about being abducted after accepting a ride from Castro.

McGinty said that Castro would be charged for every single act of sexual violence, assault and other crimes committed against the women, suggesting the charges could number in the hundreds, if not thousands.

During his brief arraignment Thursday, Castro tried to hide his face, tucking his chin inside his collar. He appeared to close his eyes during the hearing and awkwardly signed documents while handcuffed. He did not speak or enter a plea.

In court, prosecutor Brian Murphy said Castro used the women "in whatever self-gratifying, self-serving way he saw fit."

Kathleen DeMetz, a public defender assigned to represent him at the hearing, didn't comment on his guilt or innocence or object when prosecutors recommended bail be set at $5 million. The judge, instead, ordered Castro held on $8 million.

Castro has been in custody since Monday, when Berry broke out of his run-down house and called 911. Police found the two other women inside. The women, now in their 20s and 30s, vanished separately between 2002 and 2004. At the time, they were 14, 16 and 20 years.

Berry and former captive Gina DeJesus, 22, went home with relatives on Wednesday. Knight was reported in good condition at a Cleveland hospital.

The police report gave a detailed account of their escape, beginning with Berry's discovery that a door was unlocked, leaving only a bolted outer door between her and freedom.

Berry feared it was a test: She said Castro occasionally left a door unlocked to test them. But she called to neighbors on a porch for help and was able to get out.

Police then entered the house and found the other women, who threw themselves into the officers' arms.

Castro's two brothers, who were arrested with him but later cleared of involvement in the kidnapping case, appeared in court on unrelated charges Thursday and were released.

Ariel Castro's former daughter-in-law told The Associated Press that her former husband said Castro had an extremely violent nature.

"He was always described to me as a violent, just a scary violent person," said Monica, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because she did not want her ties to the family to gain public attention.

"He talked about how his father had beaten him and his mother severely. They were like hostages in their own house. They were locked in," said the woman, who now lives in Florida.

A musician who often practiced at Castro's house said he was there last week and heard noises, "like banging on the wall." Ricky Sanchez said he asked Castro about it, and he blamed it on the dogs. He also said Castro — a bass guitarist in merengue and salsa bands — liked to play his music loud.

On his most recent visit, Sanchez said, a little girl came out from the kitchen and stared at him but didn't say anything. He said he also noticed there were four or five locks on the outside door.

"When I was about to leave, I tried to open the door. I couldn't even, because there were so many locks in there," he said.

Associated Press writers Mike Householder and freelance reporter John Coyne in Cleveland; Brendan Farrington in Florida; and Dan Sewell in Cincinnati contributed to this report.

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aomohoa wrote:
The cops didn't rescue her. If they would have done a better job these girls may have been rescued sooner. This article is false. What about the guy who came by and got her out. The press have no clue how to report the truth. Now, let 's leave these people along. They have a lot of healing to do:)
on May 8,2013 | 08:50AM
hanalei395 wrote:
That guy was Charles Ramsey, and he was the one who kicked out that door and the FIRST ONE who called 9/11. HE WAS THE ONE WHO RESCUED BERRY. And not a word about him in the article.
on May 8,2013 | 09:38AM
aomohoa wrote:
I know. I tried to post mentioning his name and how incompetent the police are, it went for review. I also mentioned that he wanted to give the girls any money that people are getting together for him.
on May 8,2013 | 10:03AM
st1d wrote:
maybe they want to give him a break from being identified as being convicted for two domestic violence charges.
on May 9,2013 | 01:01PM
aomohoa wrote:
Let's not forget that Charles Ramsey is the real hero here. Let these families heal.
on May 8,2013 | 09:17AM
lani_moo wrote:
Eerie coincidence that the Hawaii 5-0 episode on Monday was about an abducted child held captive for 10 years. Art imitates life?
on May 8,2013 | 09:58AM
royboy88 wrote:
yes, that was chicken skin...coincidence or what. this horror story sounds like something from Criminal Minds.
on May 8,2013 | 02:14PM
ELS wrote:
It would be nice if a beauty shop donated full makeovers for each of them. They deserve some heavy duty pampering. Glad they finally escaped.
on May 8,2013 | 10:32AM
gobows wrote:
pampering? howabout some heavy duty psychological repairing.........?
on May 8,2013 | 12:17PM
aomohoa wrote:
Sorry but that is very superficial ELS and not what they need. They leave love and a lot of therapy.
on May 8,2013 | 01:40PM
Skyler wrote:
To be fair, Amanda Berry braved getting caught to facilitate her & everyone's rescue; Charles Ramsey was instrumental in assisting, and the police are - in spite of the dispatcher's apparent lackadaisical response - to be commended for a quick response. This whole story could have gone very badly had the police not arrived as fast as they did.
on May 8,2013 | 11:08AM
hanalei395 wrote:
Amanda Berry got out of that house because Charles Ramsey kicked out that door. She got out BEFORE the cops got there. Charles Ramsey is the REAL hero. And not just "instrumental in assisting".
on May 8,2013 | 11:19AM
aomohoa wrote:
The incompetence of the cops is the reason they were prisoners longer than necessary.As others have said the only hero here is Charles Ramsey.
on May 8,2013 | 01:42PM
mcc wrote:
SA, nobody proof read this. Very sloppy.
on May 8,2013 | 01:00PM
jyl wrote:
They all should get the Death Penalty!!
on May 8,2013 | 02:05PM
Hawaiians wrote:
This kidnapper rapist deserves 10 years per woman -at very very least, if not life imprisonment in confinement.
on May 8,2013 | 08:11PM
false wrote:
Castration with a rusted butter knife first.
on May 9,2013 | 01:07PM
BIG wrote:
Of course the Cleveland police are disputing claims by neighbors that officers had been called to the house before "nothing in there records support that" Threw away those records so they don't look bad
on May 8,2013 | 03:50PM
aomohoa wrote:
Either thrown away or too lazy to every take the report. I won't say who I know. but either cops don't always do the reporting they should or they are way way behind and maybe never get it done.
on May 8,2013 | 04:26PM
64hoo wrote:
the other 2 brothers are not being charge that's ridiculas there accessories before and after the fact which is the same penalty as commiting the crime. they all should be charged because the 2 brothers knew about it even though they say they did not know about it. they all lived in the same house.
on May 8,2013 | 06:03PM
hanalei395 wrote:
Unfortunately, the worst of the scum brothers, Ariel Castro, won't be executed. But, HE WILL spend the rest of his miserable life in solitary confinement, "in the tank", alone, AWAY from other prison inmates...FOR OBVIOUS REASONS. It's Karma, but not quite. He won't be tortured. He tortured those girls...but he won't be tortured in return. Again, unfortunately.
on May 8,2013 | 06:55PM
Hawaiians wrote:
Give him and a bat to the families they will take care of him.
on May 8,2013 | 08:13PM
false wrote:
Before or after the castration?
on May 9,2013 | 01:07PM
bully106 wrote:
1/2 an hour alone with this cretin with my senior lady friends, a bat, a pillow, and bamboo!!!!!
on May 8,2013 | 07:34PM
Dorobo wrote:
How can two brothers living in the same house and knowing what was going on be cleared of charges? If they didn't participate in the terrible actions they should have help the women earlier.
on May 9,2013 | 07:27AM
false wrote:
What the other brother not being charged. The ninjas will take care of them once released.
on May 9,2013 | 01:09PM
st1d wrote:
unreported is the fraud perpetuated by self proclaimed psychic sylvia browne who informed amanda's mother on a tv show that amanda was dead and that her last words were "i love you mom."

amanda's mother died soon after with her heart broken.

sylvia browne continues to assert her proweress at fraud and deception even with this example of her manipulation of the weak and vulnerable.

on May 9,2013 | 08:38AM
kprtyqn wrote:
Its sad when our children have to endure such turmoils from those who "choose" to hurt others due to the trauma in their own past lives. You make a choice to be this way dont blame others, you could have changed what you were at any time. Now youve scarred the innocent while you might enjoy living off my taxes..............well maybe if someone wants to be extra nice they will leave you something that hangs from the ceiling so i dont need to watch the girls suffer any longer reliving your horrors thru a court case..
on May 9,2013 | 12:57PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
So-called psychic Sylvia Brown should be put in the spotlight for her answer to the late mother of one of the victims that she was dead. I am amazed that this side of the story has not been grabbed by the media except maybe one outlet. People want answers from her. This fraud should be brought out to the public light and be shown for what she is.
on May 9,2013 | 01:03PM
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