Three women, who were missing for years, were found in captive by a Cleveland man who tied them up with ropes and chains on a regular basis. The man has been charged with kidnapping and rape.
Ariel Castro, 52, is charged with four counts of kidnapping, covering the captives and the daughter born to one of them, and three counts of rape against all three women, prosecutor Victor Perez said. He will make his first public appearance in court Thursday.
A city councilman briefed on the case said the women were subjected to prolonged sexual and psychological abuse and suffered miscarriages, never finding a chance to escape until this week.
Councilman Brian Cummins said that many details remain unclear, including the number of pregnancies and the conditions under which the miscarriages occurred. He also said the women were kept in the basement for some time without having access to the rest of the house.
“We know that the victims have confirmed miscarriages, but with who, how many and what conditions we don’t know,” Cummins said. He added: “It sounds pretty gruesome.”
Law enforcement officials left many questions unanswered, but Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba said the women could remember being outside only twice during their entire time in captivity. “We were told they left the house and went into the garage in disguise,” he said.
The women were not kept in the same room, but knew they were not alone, he said.
None of the women, though, gave them any indication that Castro’s two older brothers, who’ve been in custody since Monday, were involved, Tomba said. Prosecutors brought no charges against the brothers, citing a lack of evidence.
“Ariel kept everyone at a distance,” Tomba said.
One thing that remains a mystery, he said, is how the women were kept in the house so long.