Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro not only subjected women to sexual slavery in his home for years, but he assaulted them to the point of causing abortions of their unborn children when they became pregnant.
Castro starved and kicked one of the kidnapped pregnant women, Michelle Knight, resulting in her miscarrying five children.
After Castro was apprehended, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty said his office intended 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.” Local pro-life groups in Ohio asked McGinty to follow through on his promise and, on Friday, a county jury did just that.
On Friday, a Cuyahoga County grand jury returned a 329-count indictment against Ariel Castro charging him with kidnapping and rape of three women. Two counts of the indictment are for aggravated murder in the deaths of two unborn babies.
Last month several national and Ohio pro-life groups joined together to sign and deliver a letter asking Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty to file murder charges against Ariel Castro for killing five unborn children during the kidnapping of Michelle Knight, one of the three women he abducted. The signers of the letter believed that Castro should be charged for violating Ohio’s Fetal Homicide Law.
A representative of one of the groups told LifeNews he’s happy the grand jury returned charges.
“Our coalition is pleased that the prosecutor kept his word by following our urging to charge Castro with murder. The grand juries’ decision to charge Castro with murdering two of the unborn children that Michelle Knight was carrying will hopefully bring them justice,” said Mark Harrington of Created Equal. “These babies deserve the same protection that all pregnant mothers have. Despite the fact that the Michelle Knight was not also killed in this instance is beside the point. We expect Castro to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for murdering these unborn babies.”
The Ohio Fetal Homicide Law (ORC 2903.01) reads, “No person shall purposely, and with prior calculation and design, cause the death of another or the unlawful termination of another’s pregnancy.”
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Harrington said Castro should be charged with aggravated and felonious assault against Knight and aggravated murder of her five children.
Attorney Samuel Casey, a pro-life advocate who has been closely monitoring the case, said, “We believe that whether a child is in utero or ‘born alive’ — whether we call it fetal homicide or infanticide—it is a criminal action to take an innocent human being’s life. The mother’s consent (particularly when it is coerced or uninformed) should make no difference to the existence of the crime being committed. Whether the apparent motive is a commercial one (as in Kermit Gosnell’s case) or sexual abuse (as in Castro’s case), it should be just as criminal for a health care provider or a sexual deviant to kill a baby born or preborn because pregnancy is not a disease and induced abortion is never health care.”