World News‎ > ‎

Bail For Accused Cleveland Kidnapper Ariel Castro Set At $8 Million

posted 9 May 2013, 07:27 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 9 May 2013, 07:28 ]

Bail for accused Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro was set at $8 million in the decade-long abduction ordeal of three young women and a child, who was conceived and born in captivity.

CLEVELANDOHIOUNITED STATES (MAY 9, 2013) (NBC) - An ex-school bus driver accused in the abduction ordeal of three youngOhio women and a child born in captivity was ordered held on $8 million bond on Thursday (May 9), charged with kidnapping and raping the victims, who authorities said were held captive in his house for nearly a decade.

Ariel Castro appeared in Cleveland Municipal Court, expressionless, with his head bowed and his hands in cuffs before Judge Lauren Moore, who set his bond at $2 million for each of the four cases.

It was the first time the dark-haired, balding Castro, 52, has been seen in public since his arrest on Monday following the women's escape from his house.

He is charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape.

His defense attorney, public defender Kathleen DeMetz, said afterward that Castro would need $800,000 cash to get out.

In court, she said he was unemployed. Castro was fired from his job driving school buses last fall.

Castro was being kept on a suicide watch, and the public defender said she expected him to be kept in isolation in jail.

The $8 million bond set by the judge was higher than the $5 million the prosecutor Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney Brian Murphy requested during the proceeding. The judge also ordered Castro to have no contact with the victims or their families.

Castro's Seymour Avenue home "was a prison to these three women and the child," Murphy said in court. "Today the situation is turned on him," he said. "Mr. Castro stands before you a captive, in captivity, a prisoner."

Officials said the three women were at times bound in chains or rope and endured starvation, beatings, sexual assaults and in the case of one of them, several miscarriages deliberately induced by their captor.

Their imprisonment came to an end on Monday after neighbors, drawn to the house by cries for help, broke through a door to rescue Amanda Berry, whose disappearance in 2003 the day before her 17th birthday was widely publicized in the local media.

The recording of her frantic emergency-911 call that evening, declaring, "I've been kidnapped and I've been missing for 10 years and I'm here. I'm free now," has been replayed countless times on television news broadcasts around the world.

Rescued with Berry, now 27, was her 6-year-old daughter, conceived and born during her confinement, and two fellow captives - Gina DeJesus, 23, who vanished at age 14 in 2004, and Michelle Knight, 32, who was 20 when she went missing in 2002.

Castro's two brothers, Pedro, 54, and Onil, 50, were initially arrested as suspects in the case but were not charged after investigators determined they had no knowledge of the abductions or captivity of the women, police said.

They appeared in court on Thursday morning on unrelated outstanding misdemeanor charges and were released.