US: Ariel Castro charged in Cleveland kidnapping case

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US: Ariel Castro charged in Cleveland kidnapping case

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Cleveland resident Ariel Castro has been charged with kidnapping and raping three women, who were allegedly held captive for almost a decade.

Earlier, police in the US state of Ohio revealed that they had found ropes and chains in the property where the women and a six-year old girl were said to have been held prisoner.

The women were rescued on Monday after one of them, Amanda Berry, fled with the help of a neighbour.

No charges are being brought against Castro’s two brothers, Pedro and Onil, who were also arrested.

“There is no evidence these two individuals had any involvement in the commission of the crimes committed against Michelle, Gina and Amanda and the minor child,” said Victor Perez, Cleveland City Prosecutor.

Crowds gathered to see 23-year-old Gina DeJesus – one of the three women – return to the home she has not seen in nine years. Her face was hidden from view, as she was rushed inside. Her aunt later called for calm.

“The last thing the family is asking is that we as a community do not go and retaliate against the family of the suspects of this crime,” said Sandra Ruiz.

Twenty-seven-year-old Berry has also been welcomed home. The third woman – Michelle Knight, now 32 – remains in hospital.

Ariel Castro is due to be formally arraigned on Thursday.