Latifah Muhammad
photo: Emmanuel Dunand, AFP

Cleveland Kidnapping Suspect Makes Court Appearance, Bond Set At $8 Million [PHOTOS]

 

Ariel Castro, the man accused in a decade-long Cleveland kidnapping case, was arraigned on various charges Thursday (May 9) morning. A judge set Castro’s bond at $8 million.

Making his first court appearance, the 52-year-old wore a blue prison jumpsuit and tan slippers, restrained by handcuffs. Castro kept his head down for much of the five-minute hearing, and signed paperwork confirming his bail–which is $2 million for each of the counts he faces.

Castro and his three brothers all lived in the house where three women were held captive. He is the only one  of the siblings charged for allegedly kidnapping the victims –Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight — r@ping, beating, and even impregnating the woman.

Berry, who was taken when she was 16, gave birth to Castro’s child, a now 6-year-old daughter found with her earlier in the week. Knight told police that Castro got her pregnant five times, then starved, beat and punched her in the stomach until she miscarried.

In a letter found by authorities in Castro’s home, he admitted to being a “s-xual predator” in need of treatment.

Kathleen DeMetz, a public defender  for the accused, acknowledged Castro’s horrific crimes against the women, and was not surprised by the high bond amount. “I knew the bond would be extremely high as it was,” she said. Attempting to paint her  client in a less monstrous way, DeMetz told Judge Lauren Moore that Castro “has lived in the area for 30 years,” and has no prior criminal record.

No matter his age, or time passed, Prosecutor Brian Murphy noted that Castro was well aware of what he was doing. “The charges against Mr. Castro are based on premeditated and depraved decision to snatch the three young ladies … to be used in whatever self-gratifying, self-satisfying way he saw fit.

“When in captivity, they withstood repeated debasing. They were bound and restrained and actually assaulted, basically never free to leave this residence.”

The three women were rescued after neighbor, Charles Ramsey, found Berry unaware at first that she was the kidnapping victim. He called 911 which led to the rescue’s of the other remaining women, and Berry’s child.

See photos from the arraignment and the home where the women were held below.

 

Photos: Emmanuel Dunand, AFP/NY Daily News/Bill Pugliano/AP

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