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Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight Update: Ariel Castro charged with rape, kidnapping

Ariel Castro House
Ariel Castro is accused of kidnapping three women and keeping them captive in his Cleveland home for a decade. CBS

(CBS/AP) -- Ariel Castro, Ohio man arrested in connection with the abductions of Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus, was charged with three counts of kidnapping and four counts of rape Wednesday afternoon, Cleveland city prosecutor Victor Perez said at a press conference.

PICTURES: Ohio women missing for nearly a decade found alive

The three women, missing for a decade, were discovered Monday in Castro's Cleveland home after Berry kicked out a screen door and called 911.

Castro, 52, is charged with raping Berry, 27, Knight, 32, and DeJesus, 23, and kidnapping the three women and Berry's six-year-old daughter, who was also found in the home.

Investigators have not charged Castro's brothers, Onil and Pedro, who were arrested. Officials said they found no evidence to tie them to the case. "Ariel kept everybody at a distance," said Cleveland deputy police chief Ed Tomba.

The two brothers did, however, have outstanding Cleveland court warrants for misdemeanor cases, Perez said. Court hearings for the brothers were set for Thursday.

At a news conference, authorities gave few details on the women's ordeal. But police said earlier in the day that they were apparently bound with ropes and chains, and a city councilman briefed on the case, Brian Cummins, said that they were subjected to prolonged sexual and psychological abuse and suffered miscarriages.

"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."

The first opportunity for the women to escape didn't come until Monday, Tomba said. The women were not kept in the same room, but knew they were not alone, he said.

Investigators have completed the search of the crime scene at Castro's home, Tomba said. They have also removed about 200 pieces of evidence. Police also executed a search warrant at a nearby home.

Officials wouldn't detail what pieces of evidence were removed.

Castro waived his Miranda rights and gave investigators a detailed statement, Tomba said. The statement, along with the interviews with the victims, would likely play a key role in the case, he said.

Contrary to media reports that naked women had been seen by neighbors outside the home, Cleveland public safety director Martin Flask said the women were kept inside the home for the majority of their captivity.

"There's no evidence to indicate [Berry, Knight and DeJesus] were outside in the yard, in chains, without clothing, or in any other manner," Flask said. "Within the last decade they've only known themselves to be out of the home on two occasions, and then only briefly."

During the occasions the women left the home, they were in the garage and in disguise, Tomba said. He also declined to speak about whether the women were pregnant or whether Berry's six-year-old daughter could be Castro's biological daughter. 

A paternity test has been ordered, he said.

Castro is set to be arraigned Thursday in a Cleveland courtroom, and the case is expected to go before a Cuyahoga County grand jury, Perez said.

Complete coverage of the Cleveland kidnapping on Crimesider

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