Authorities announced charges Wednesday against an Ohio man, two days after three women were rescued from his Cleveland house about a decade after they were kidnapped.
“I just signed criminal complaints charging Ariel Castro with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape,” Cleveland Chief Assistant Prosecutor Victor Perez said.
Castro, 52, allegedly held the three women in his home, restrained them with ropes and chains, and occasionally let them out into the backyard. The fourth kidnapping charge is for a daughter born to one of them while they were in captivity, authorities said.
His two brothers, who were also arrested on Monday, are not being charged, Perez said.
“As it relates to Pedro and Onil Castro, no charges will be filed at this time,” he said. “There is no evidence these two had any involvement."
Michelle Knight was the first to be kidnapped when she was 20. Then, Amanda Berry was abducted when she was 16. The next year, 14-year-old Gina DeJesus was taken.
Ariel Castro was close with the DeJesus family. He helped them hand out fliers for Gina DeJesus after she went missing and even comforted her mother during a candlelight vigil just last year.
“He fooled our family,” Castro’s cousin Maria Castro Montes said. “He fooled our community. He fooled his own children.”
For the three women, it’s a homecoming about 10 years in the making. It was a media circus outside Amanda Berry’s home where she arrived with her 6-year-old daughter Wednesday.
“I just want to say we are happy to have Amanda and her daughter home,” sister Beth Serrano said.
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Gina DeJesus gave the media a big thumbs-up as she was walked inside her home.
“I want to thank everybody that believed my daughter was out there,” said her mother, Nancy Ruiz. “Even the ones that doubted made me stronger.”
Michelle Knight hasn’t had this kind of homecoming yet. She’s been in and out of the hospital a couple times since her rescue, but her mom is looking forward to a reunion.
“I know she’s probably angry at the world because she probably didn’t think she’d be found, but thank God someone did,” her mother Barbara Knight said.