648 New Charges Filed Against Ariel Castro

Brings total to 977
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2013 3:47 PM CDT
648 New Charges Filed Against Ariel Castro
Ariel Castro is led back to jail after a hearing in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court in Cleveland, July 3, 2013.   (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Accused kidnapper Ariel Castro has had 648 new counts added to his indictment, bringing the grand total to 977. To break it down, the entire indictment is 576 pages, and includes: 512 counts of kidnapping, 446 counts of rape, seven counts of gross sexual imposition, six counts of felonious assault, three counts of child endangerment, two counts of aggravated murder (he is accused of unlawfully terminating the pregnancy of one of his captives), and one count of possessing criminal tools, the AP reports.

The reason for all the new charges is that his previous indictment only covered the first four-and-a-half years that the three women were allegedly imprisoned in his house. The new indictment covers the entire period, reports CNN. Despite the added heft to the charges, prosecutors are still not seeking the death penalty—though the aggravated murder charges plus the kidnapping charges would allow them to under Ohio law, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. A spokesperson for the County Prosecutor says they still may. But by not seeking the death penalty, a plea deal could be worked out, which would spare the three women the emotional turmoil of going through a trial. (More Ariel Castro stories.)

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