US man indicted on 329 counts for kidnapping three women

Washington, June 8 (IANS) A 52-year-old man in the US state of Ohio has been indicted on 329 counts for allegedly kidnapping, raping and holding captive three young women in his house for 10 years, authorities said.

The indictment charges Ariel Castro with 139 counts of rape, 177 counts of kidnapping, seven counts of gross sexual imposition, three counts of felonious assault and one count of possession of criminal tools, CNN quoted Cuyahoga county prosecutor Timothy McGinty as saying in a statement.

One charge accuses Castro of aggravated murder for purposely causing the unlawful termination of a pregnancy.

One of the young women was allegedly impregnated five times by Castro, and another bore a child fathered by him, police said.

The charges cover only half of the 10 years the three young women were held captive — from August 2002 to February 2007.

The three women were freed last month after one shouted for help while Castro was gone from the house in Cleveland.

The prosecutor’s capital review committee will consider whether the case is appropriate for seeking the death penalty, CNN said.

The indictment alleges that Castro taped the legs and mouth of one woman, and also chained her to a pole in the basement with a motorcycle helmet placed on her head.

Castro also allegedly used a vacuum cord around her neck during a felonious assault and chained her to inside of a van, the indictment said.

He also allegedly used chains and tape in the basement to restrain another woman.

One of the victims was abducted at age 21 in August 2002; one at age 16 in April 2003 and who has a six-year-old daughter by Castro; and one at 14 when kidnapped in 2004.

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