Ariel Castro pleads not guilty to 329 charges in Cleveland kidnapping case

Tony Dejak/AP

The man who is accused of kidnapping and torturing three women while he held them in his Cleveland, Ohio home for a decade has pleaded not guilty.

Ariel Castro, 52, entered the not guilty plea in court Wednesday.

In total, Castro faces 329 separate charges, including rape, gross sexual imposition, assault and aggravated murder. The latter charge relates to the alleged unlawful termination of a pregnancy, reports NBC News.

Three women, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, escaped from a home belonging to Castro on May 6 after Berry was able to alert a neighbour. Charles Ramsey, the neighbour who helped free Berry, because an international hero after the women were freed.

A child, who belonged to Berry, was also found in the home.

Berry, DeJesus and Knight had been missing for a decade. All women have since been reunited with their families.

Castro previously applied for bail, but the judge set it at $8 million.

He will appear in court again on June 19.

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