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Charges And Witness Accounts Weigh Heavily Against Accused Kidnapper And Rapist

Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 12:06 PM

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Attorney Ian Friedman (left) and Case Western law professor Lewis Katz (right).  (Brian Bull photo/CWRU staff photo)

Ariel Castro is being held on $8 million bond, on multiple kidnapping and rape charges. They stem from the decade-long captivity of three women in his West Side home. As ideastream’s Brian Bull reports, the case against the 52-year-old former bus driver looks strong.

Victim’s accounts to police paint a gruesome and chilling description of their captivity.  They include claims of forced sex, and injuries that caused miscarriage.

Ian Friedman is a defense attorney with Friedman and Frey, who was involved in the T.J. Lane school shooting case.  He says as egregrious as the charges against Castro are, they don’t justify the death penalty in Ohio. But he speculates that additional charges could emerge, that might lead to capital punishment. 

“For instance, if there were babies that were born and they were terminated, that could lead to the death penalty,” says Friedman. “But right now as the charges stand, what we’d be looking at are many life sentences, over and over.  He’ll never get out.  He’ll finish his days in a cell, where he belongs.  That’s what he did to them, and that’s how he’s going to see what it feels like now himself.”

Investigators are poring over evidence from Castro’s home on Seymour Avenue, and another house a few doors down. But Lewis Katz, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University, says the case already looks solid against Castro.

“It seems to me that the victims have quite clearly communicated to the police that they’ve been involuntarily and inhumanely held for 10 years,” he says. “That they were raped, that they were assaulted.  I don’t know where the defense goes with this.”

Katz says in non-capital cases, courts are required to set bail.  But the amount is such that Castro is unlikely to meet it.  He adds that Castro will also have trouble retaining anyone on his behalf, so it may come to having a public or private defender assigned.

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Community/Human Interest, Courts/Crime - Fire/Law Enforcement

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