Castro is alleged to have held the women captive for the last ten years at his dilapidated house in Cleveland where he repeatedly raped and beat the women. One of the women conceived during her captivity, giving birth to a baby girl, who is now 6 years old. It is believed that there were other pregnancies and forced miscarriages, but no remains have been found by police.
It is reported that the women were subjected to prolonged sexual, physical, and psychological abuse. It is also believed that the women were bound with rope and chains, but one source tells CNN that is not true. On the contrary, according to the source, none of the three were bound and two of the women could have run, but chose not to.
The women were discovered at Castro’s home on Monday after one of them fled through a screen door and called 911 with the help of neighbors.
The punishment for rape and kidnapping depends on the circumstances. In Ohio, kidnapping and rape are both considered first degree felonies. These felonies normally carry a sentence of three to ten years for each act. However, if force or threat of force is used, the punishment is life in prison. (See “Sex Offenses” – Chapter 2907 of the Ohio Revised Code).
If this case were being prosecuted in California, Castro would face life in prison. In order to secure a life conviction under California law, the prosecutor will have to prove that:
1. Castro intended to commit rape;
2. Castro acted with the intent to commit rape when he took, held, or detained a person by using force or by instilling a reasonable fear;
3. Using that force or fear, Castro moved the other person (or made the other person move) a substantial distance;
4. The other person was moved or made to move a distance beyond that merely incidental
5. The other person did not consent to the movement.
The element of consent is crucial in a case such as this. A prosecutor may have difficulty securing a conviction if consent is shown.