Ariel Castro pleads not guilty in Cleveland abduction case

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Ariel Castro pleads not guilty in Cleveland abduction case

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A jobless bus driver in the US has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnap and rape over the decade-long abduction of three young women in Ohio.

Ariel Castro appeared in court in Cleveland but did not speak. He is also accused of aggravated murder relating to an accusation that he provoked one woman to miscarry by hitting her.

His lawyer Craig Weintraub hinted at a possible plea deal.

“Mr Castro currently faces hundreds of years in prison with the current charges and it is our hope that we can continue to work toward a resolution to avoid having an unnecessary trial about aggravated murder and the death penalty,” he said.

The prosecution case details how the three young women were allegedly raped and chained up.

Castro was arrested last month after one of them, Amanda Berry, escaped from the house where they were being held and raised the alarm.

They were welcomed home by their families who had not seen them in years. Two were teenagers when they were abducted.