Ariel Castro was seen in court today during a pre-trial hearing, and according to ABC News, the judge has ruled that Castro is competent enough to finally stand trial for the 329 charges against him regarding his involvement in the Cleveland kidnapping case. The judge also ruled that it would be “inappropriate” for him to be allowed contact with the 6-year-old girl that he fathered with victim Amanda Berry.
Berry, along with Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, was kidnapped just short of a decade ago by Castro and was forced to live in the basement of his home, sometimes chained, until the day she and the other girls were miraculously freed by a neighbor. It has come to light that Berry was impregnated by Castro and forced to give birth to her now 6-year-old daughter in a kiddie pool. Knight has also stated that she was also impregnated at least once, but her pregnancies had been forcefully aborted by Castro after he starved her and punched her repeatedly in the abdomen.
Castro has been charged with two counts of aggravated murder related to the forceful termination of Michelle Knight’s pregnancy while in captivity, as well as 139 counts of rape, 177 counts of kidnapping, and multiple counts of gross sexual imposition and felonious assault. He has pled ‘not guilty’ to all charges, which means that the upcoming trial will force the prosecution to prove that he committed each and every charge against him, without reasonable doubt.
Source: ABC News