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‘House Of Horrors’ Suspect Ariel Castro Makes First Appearance Before Cleveland Judge, Bond Set At $8 Million


May 9 2013, Published 9:11 a.m. ET

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“House of horrors” suspect Ariel Castro made his first appearance before a judge in Cleveland, Ohio Thursday morning on charges stemming from the horrifying abductions of three young women, who were held captive in his home for nearly a decade.

During the hearing -- which last only minutes -- the judge read the charges against Castro and asked him if he understood them. Castro – with his hands tied together – signed the criminal complaint, but he did not enter a plea; that will come at another hearing within thirty days.

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The prosecutor had asked for bond to be set at $5 million, but the judge choose to make it higher.

In his ruling, the judge issued a $2 million bond on each of the four charges against Castro, so the total bond comes to $8 million, ensuring he will remain behind bars. (He’s charged with three counts of rape and 4 counts of kidnapping.)

Throughout the hearing, Castro, 52, kept his eyes grazing down at all times.

Ariel Castro

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Before Castro made his appearance, his two brothers, Pedro, 54, and Onil, 50, appeared briefly for outstanding misdemeanor charges unrelated to the case. Pedro pleaded no contest to a July 2011 open container charge, and was fined $100; Onil's November 2001 open container and drug abuse charges were dismissed, and he was released from custody.

Investigators have stressed the brothers were not involved in the abductions, citing discussions with the three women who were kidnapped.

As previously reported, Amanda Berry, 27, Michelle Knight, 32, and Gina DeJesus, 23, and Amanda’s 6-year-old daughter, Jocelyn, were rescued Monday night after Castro, in his apparent haste to get something to eat at a nearby fast food restaurant, forgot to lock the main front door of his home. Instead, he locked only a screen door, allowing Berry to escape with the help of a neighbor, Charles Ramsey, who heard her screams inside the home. Berry then called 911, and police were on the scene within minutes and later arrested Castro at McDonalds.



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