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Ohio kidnapping suspect Castro to plead not guilty

© afp

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-05-15

Ariel Castro, the Ohio man accused of holding three young women captive for some 10 years in a house in Cleveland, will plead not guilty to charges of rape and kidnapping, one of his lawyers said on Wednesday.

The man accused of holding three young women captive for some 10 years in a house in Cleveland, Ohio, will plead not guilty to charges of rape and kidnapping, one of his lawyers said on Wednesday.

"There will be a plea of not guilty," attorney Jaye Schlachet told AFP.

He did not say on what grounds Ariel Castro would make the plea.

The case has shocked America, but Schlachet urged the public to refrain from making a rush to judgment.

"He's not a monster and he shouldn't be demonised by the media," he said.

The 52-year-old Castro, who is being held on an $8 million bond, has been charged with kidnapping and raping three women over period of ten years.

One of the women bore him a child while in captivity.

Prosecutors say they may also charge him with aggravated murder because at least one of the women miscarried during his beatings, a charge that could carry the death penalty.

Michelle Knight, 32, Gina DeJesus, 23, and Amanda Berry, 27, were freed on May 6 after a neighbour heard Berry call for help and kicked in the door to Castro's house in a working-class Cleveland neighborhood.

"All the evidence will be disclosed at the court proceedings," Schlachet said. "I would ask the community not to rush, to consider everything before expressing an opinion."

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

 

Date created : 2013-05-15

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