Man charged with kidnapping, raping Cleveland girls

Ariel Castro House CBS

Updated 6:30 p.m. ET

CLEVELAND Kidnapping and rape charges were filed Wednesday against a man arrested after three women missing for about a decade were found alive at his home.

Homeowner Ariel Castro was charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape while his brothers, Pedro and Onil Castro, were held but faced no immediate charges. Ariel Castro will be arraigned in Cleveland municipal court Thursday morning, and officials say they expect additional counts to be made.

The men were in custody and couldn't be reached for comment. Their brother-in-law has said the family is "shocked" after hearing about the women at the home.

The three women were subjected to prolonged sexual and psychological abuse and suffered miscarriages, a city councilman briefed on the case said Wednesday. Sources tell CBS News they never left the house, with the exception of going outside to go to the garage twice -- in those cases, the women were forced to wear disguises.

Updated location map of three abducted Cleveland women found.
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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, and police said the women were apparently bound with ropes and chains. The crime scene was closed at Castro's Seymour Avenue home Wednesday, but police said another investigation was underway at a second location on the same street.

Another woman, Amanda Berry, was rescued with her 6-year-old daughter. Cleveland City Prosecutor Victor Perez said he could not comment on the father, but said a paternity test would be conducted. Sources tell CBS News that the other two women helped deliver the baby while in captivity.

The horrific allegations came out as police built a case against the three brothers.

"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."

Gina DeJesus raises her thumb as she arrives at her family house on May 8, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. DeJesus along with two other women were rescued this week after a decade spent imprisoned and tormented in a kidnapper's house made an emotional return to their families on Wednesday. At right is Gina's father Felix.
Gina DeJesus raises her thumb as she arrives at her family house on May 8, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. DeJesus along with two other women were rescued this week after a decade spent imprisoned and tormented in a kidnapper's house made an emotional return to their families on Wednesday. At right is Gina's father Felix.
EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

Two of the young women, meanwhile, were welcomed home by jubilant crowds of loved ones and neighbors with balloons and banners Wednesday. The families of Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry protectively took them inside, past hundreds of reporters and onlookers. Neither woman spoke, and their families pleaded for patience and time alone.

"Give us time and privacy to heal," said Sandra Ruiz, DeJesus' aunt. Ruiz thanked police for rescuing the women and urged the public not to retaliate against the suspects or their families.

Lydia Esparra, a reporter for CBS affiliate WOIO-TV, spoke to DeJesus off camera when she arrive home. Esparra said she looked in good shape, but nothing like the computer-generated composite image meant to give a sense of how she looked older. DeJesus, who grew up bilingual, but couldn't understand Spanish when someone was speaking it to her.

The third captive, Michelle Knight, 32 was reported in good condition at Metro Health Medical Center, which a day earlier had reported that all three victims had been released. There was no immediate explanation from the hospital.

In a development that astonished and exhilarated much of Cleveland, the three women were rescued on Monday after Berry, 27, broke through a screen door at the Castro house and told a 911 dispatcher: "Help me. I'm Amanda Berry. I've been kidnapped, and I've been missing for 10 years and I'm, I'm here, I'm free now."

Knight vanished when she was 20 years old in 2002. Berry was last seen in 2003, shortly before her 17th birthday, and DeJesus, then 14, disappeared while walking home from school the following year. Sources tell CBS News the girls and Castro all confirmed that Castro did not force each of the three girls into his car at the initial abductions; he offered them a ride and they went willingly -- but there is no doubt they were kidnappings.

Neighbors said that Ariel Castro took part in the search for one of the missing women, helped pass out fliers, performed music at a fundraiser for her and attended a candlelight vigil, where her comforted her mother. As recently as 2005, Castro was accused of repeated acts of violence against his children's mother.

On NBC's "Today" show, Police Chief Michael McGrath said he was "absolutely" sure police did everything they could to find the women over the years. He disputed claims by neighbors that officers had been called to the house before for suspicious circumstances.

"We have no record of those calls coming in over the past 10 years," McGrath said. On Tuesday, some neighbors said that they had told police years ago about hearing pounding on the doors of the home and seeing a naked woman crawling in the yard.

The filing for a protective order by Grimilda Figueroa also said that Castro frequently abducted her daughters and kept them from her.

CBS News also obtained domestic violence records against Castro filed by his ex-wife, Grimilda Figueroa. The documents allege that Castro had "broken petitioner's nose (twice), ribs, lacerations, knocked out tooth, blood clot on brain, (inoperable tumor), dislocated shoulder, (twice, once on each side) threatened to kill petitioner and daughters 3 to 4 times just this year etc. Most recently threatened to kill her on August 25, 2005 and the children also."

In 1993, Castro was arrested on a domestic-violence charge and spent three days in jail before he was released on bail.

Meanwhile, the aunt of a 14-year-old girl who disappeared in 2007 near the house where the missing women were found said the girl's mother has spoken with the FBI.

"We're hoping for our miracle, too," said Debra Summers, who described her niece, Ashley Summers, as not the type of girl who would leave without coming back.

Perez, the city prosecutor, said they including Summers in the questioning in their investigation, but have not dug up any new evidence concerning her disappearance.

The Castros' brother-in-law Juan Alicea said the arrests of his wife's brothers had left relatives "as blindsided as anyone else" in their community. He said he hadn't been to the home of his brother-in-law Ariel Castro since the early 1990s but had eaten dinner with Castro at a different brother's house shortly before the arrests were made Monday.

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