14 Jul 2013

Accused Cleveland captor now faces 977 charges

7:23 am on 14 July 2013

A man accused of raping and holding three women captive in his home in Cleveland, Ohio, for about a decade has been charged with hundreds of additional crimes.

Ariel Castro, 53, now faces 977 charges including kidnapping, rape, aggravated murder during the time the women were held.

He has already pleaded not guilty to 329 charges.

Castro was arrested in May after one of the women escaped from his house.

The BBC reports the indictment by a grand jury on Friday brings the total to: two charges of aggravated murder, 512 charges of kidnapping, 446 charges of rape, seven charges of gross sexual imposition, six charges of felonious assault, three charges of child endangerment and a charge of possessing criminal tools.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty has said his office is still determining whether to seek the death penalty for some of the charges.

The three women, Michelle Knight, 32, Amanda Berry, 27, and Gina DeJesus, 23, went missing in Cleveland between 2002-04.

The BBC reports a lawyer for Ms Knight recently said she hoped for a quick resolution to the case.

"The more sordid details of this horror that get disclosed in this process, the more painful it is for them," Kathy Joseph said two weeks ago.