Ariel Castro, the Ohio man accused of holding three women captive for over a decade, pleaded not guilty to various charges Wednesday (June 12). Castro was arraigned on 329 counts of torture, r@pe, and murder, the latter for allegedly forcing one of the women to miscarry five different times.
Castro stood in an orange jump shoot with his head down as an attorney entered the plea.
Craig Weintraub, Castro’s lawyer alluded to a plea deal to avoid the death penalty. Weintraub acknowledged that “certain charges in the indictment cannot be disputed,” but that the goal was to avoid a trial deemed “unnecessary.”
The indictment was handed down Friday (June 10). Castro faces 177 counts for kidnapping,139 counts of r@pe, seven counts of s-xual imposition, three counts of felonious assault, and a single count of possession of criminal tools.
Each count stems from offenses between the years of 2002 to 2007, additional charges could be added for the time period up until his arrest. “Mr. Castro currently faces hundreds of years in prison with the current charges,” Weintraub said. “It is our hope that we can continue to work toward a resolution to avoid having an unnecessary trial about aggravated murder and the death penalty.”
Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight were allegedly abducted by the 52-year-old as teenagers. The women were found after neighbor Charles Ramsey heard Berry’s cries. Knight told authorities that while pregnant by Castro she was punched in the stomach, and starved until the point of miscarriage.
Berry bore a child with the suspected criminal, a 6-year-old daughter also removed from the home.
Photo: ABC News