By now everyone has heard of the miraculous escape and rescue of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michele Knight from a decade of captivity in a Cleveland home. As the victims reunite with their families and start the process of reassimilating into society, very little is known about the men arrested for these abductions. Three brothers have been arrested, including the owner of the house, Ariel Castro, but virtually nothing has been released regarding their potential motives or any details about their modus operandi.
The charges for these brothers, and therefore the potential consequences, will vary significantly based on their actions during the last 10 years. Were the woman sexually assaulted during their captivity? If so the men will be facing sentencing enhancers under Ohio law, which carry an indeterminate sentence term up to life in prison. Also unknown is the involvement of the 2 brothers who did not live at the home. Were they active participants in the abductions or were they bystanders who allowed the captivity to continue? Assuming that they were at least aware of the abductions, in any scenario they would likely be charged as co-conspirators or under a theory of complicity. Even if they were not the primary actors, those charged with complicity in a crime are generally treated as the principal actor and would face the same potential consequences.
We will have to wait to evaluate the strength of the case as new details are released but if even some of the allegations against these men are proven it is very unlikely that they will see the outside of a jail cell for a long, long time.
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