Execution call as sex hostages’ ordeal is revealed

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Prosecutors may seek the death penalty against the man accused of imprisoning three women at his Ohio home for a decade.

Meanwhile police said Ariel Castro impregnated one of his captives at least five times and made her miscarry by starving her and punching her in the belly.

The allegations were made in a police report that also said another one of the women, Amanda Berry, was forced to give birth in a plastic children’s pool.

Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said his office would decide whether to bring aggravated murder charges punishable by death in connection with the pregnancies that were terminated by force.

“Capital punishment must be reserved for those crimes that are truly the worst examples of human conduct,” he said.

“The reality is we still have brutal criminals in our midst who have no respect for the rule of law or human life.”

Castro, 52, a former school bus driver, is under suicide watch in jail, where he is charged with rape and kidnapping. Mr McGinty said Castro would be charged for every act of sexual violence, assault and other crimes committed, suggesting the counts could number in the hundreds, if not thousands.

Among the chilling details in the police report are:

Ms Berry, now 27, told officers that she was forced to give birth in a plastic pool so it would be easier to clean up. She said she, her baby, now six, and the two other rescued women had never been to a doctor during their captivity;

Michelle Knight, now 32, said her five pregnancies ended after Castro starved her for at least two weeks and “repeatedly punched her in the stomach until she miscarried”. She also said Castro forced her to deliver Ms Berry’s baby under threat of death if the baby died. Ms Knight said that when the newborn stopped breathing, she revived her through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation;

All three women said Castro chained them up in the basement but eventually let them live on the home’s second floor. Each woman told a similar story about being abducted after accepting a ride from Castro.

During his brief court appearance yesterday, Castro tried to hide his face, tucking his chin inside his collar. He appeared to close his eyes during the hearing and did not speak or enter a plea.

In court, prosecutor Brian Murphy said Castro used the women “in whatever self-gratifying, self-serving way he saw fit”.

Kathleen DeMetz, a lawyer assigned to represent him at the hearing, did not comment on his guilt or innocence or object when prosecutors recommended bail be set at $5m. The judge, instead, ordered Castro held on $8m.

Castro was arrested on Monday, when Ms Berry broke out of his rundown house and called police while he was away. Police found the two other women inside. The women had vanished separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20.

Ms Berry and former captive Gina DeJesus, 22, went home with relatives on Wednesday. Ms Knight was reported to be in good condition at a Cleveland hospital.

The police report said Ms Berry discovered that a door was unlocked, leaving only a bolted outer door between her and freedom.

Castro occasionally left a door unlocked to test them. But she called to neighbours for help and was able to get out. Police then entered the house and found the other women, who threw themselves into the officers’ arms.

Castro’s two brothers, who were arrested with him but later cleared of involvement, appeared in court on unrelated charges yesterday and were released.

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