As more details emerge from the case of the Cleveland kidnapper who apprehended three teenage girls and forced them to live as sex slaves for a decade in his home, a leading pro-life attorney hopes more charges will be made.
Samuel Casey, the general counsel for the Law of Life Project has been closely following the case and he tells LifeNews it appears from reports of the crimes that the first young woman kidnapped by Ariel Castro, Michelle Knight, was raped, impregnated and forcibly aborted by Castro (right) at least five times during her more than ten year captivity.
UPDATE: Fox News reports Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty said Thursday that based on the facts of the case, his office intends to seek charges not only for the sexual assaults endured by the victims, but also “each act of aggravated murder he committed by terminating pregnancies.” Castro was arraigned Thursday in Cleveland Municipal Court, where the judge set bail at $8 million.
“If as reported Ariel Castro starved and then kicked a pregnant Michelle Knight resulting in her miscarrying five children Castro should be charged with aggravated and felonious assault against Knight and aggravated murder of her children. I trust the grand jury will be investigating all such possible charges,” Casey said.
Casey says Ohio adopted a state law in 2002 that includes unborn children under murder, manslaughter, and assault statutes in non-abortion cases where they are killed, such as in this case.
Casey also thinks the federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which recognizes the “child in utero” as a legal victim if he or she is injured or killed during the commission of any of 68 existing federal crimes of violence, could also come into play.
“These crimes include some acts that are federal crimes no matter where they occur (e.g., certain acts of terrorism), crimes in federal jurisdictions, crimes within the military system, crimes involving certain federal officials, and other special cases,” he tells LifeNews. “The law defines “child in utero” as “a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.” Though the majority of kidnapping crimes are prosecuted as state offenses, the federal government can also prosecute someone for kidnapping if the kidnapping crosses state lines.”
Casey continued, “Federal prosecutors can file kidnapping charges independent of state charges, meaning you can be charged with both federal and state crimes. It does not appear that the perpetrator in this case, Ariel Castro, crossed state lines with any of his victims. We should be vigilant to investigate whether Castro ever took Jocelyn across state lines.”
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“As the grand jury meets to determine all of the facts, let us be vigilant to assure that the perpetrator(s) of any force abortion(s) in this case is/are charged and convicted of such crimes,” Casey said.
He said holding Castro accountable for killing those babies would provide extra justice for the three kidnapped women, Amanda Berry, 27, Michele Knight, 32, and Gina DeJesus, 23, as well as Jocelyn, Amanda Berry’s 6-year old daughter.