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Ohio man pleads not guilty to 329 counts in decade-long kidnappings

June 12, 2013 at 11:22 AM   |   Comments

CLEVELAND, June 12 (UPI) -- An Ohio man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of raping three women while holding them captive in a Cleveland home for more than a decade, officials say.

Lawyers for Ariel Castro entered the plea during a brief arraignment, CNN reported.

Castro, 52, was indicted last week on 329 counts.

Among the charges, he is accused of two counts of aggravated murder by purposely causing the unlawful termination of a pregnancy.

Police say one of the kidnapped women was made pregnant five times by Castro and another woman bore a child fathered by him.

He also is charged with 139 counts of rape, 177 counts of kidnapping, seven counts of gross sexual imposition, three counts felonious assault and one count of possession of criminal tools.

Only the first half of the 10 years the women were held hostage are covered by the indictment.

Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Georgina "Gina" DeJesus were freed last month after Berry yelled for help while Castro was gone.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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