Renowned expert questions Castro charge provability

6:43 PM, Jun 12, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- The most serious charge Ariel Castro, the accused kidnapper and rapist who allegedly imprisoned three women in his Seymour Avenue home for a decade, faces is aggravated murder.

It accused him of raping and impregnating Jane Doe Number 1, who is, in fact, Michelle Knight, then punching her and causing her to lose the fetus in 2006 or 2007.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty is deciding whether to make this a death penalty case. That charge keeps the possibility on the table.

But both legal and medical experts believe it would be hard, if not impossible, to prove.

Dr. Cyril Wecht is a foremost forensic expert who has been both a coroner and an assistant prosecutor.

He believes the charge would be scientifically impossible to prove.

"You don't have a body. You don't have any hospital or medical records pertaining to the pregnancy. You don't know anything done by women in terms of self-obstetrical care...The fact that pregancies can be lost anytime in the best circumstances with the healthiest of would be a very hard case to prove beyond a reasonable doubt," he said.

Wecht believes the charge is driven more by emotion.

"I have no sympathy for the defendant," he stated.

But he asks what would happen if a a woman walked into McGinty's office claiming to have lost a pregnancy seven or eight years ago because she was punched in the stomach and demanded a murder charge be filed.

"Do you think that's likely to be underaken anywhere in America? No, not at all," he said.

The first batch of charges against Castro covers events from 2002 through 2007.

More charges are likely as a grand jury considers evidence and the women's statements about what happened to them until their release in May.

McGinty could not be reached by Channel 3 News on Wednesday.


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