Ariel Castro takes plea deal in Cleveland kidnapping case

Ariel Castro appears in Cleveland Municipal court Thursday, May 9, 2013, in Cleveland. Castro was charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape after three women missing for about a decade and one of their young daughters were found alive at his home earlier in the week. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/AP

Ariel Castro, the man accused of kidnapping three young women and holding them in his Cleveland home for more than a decade, is taking a plea bargain, according to reports.

Castro pleaded guilty and is accepting a bargain of life in prison, say reports.

Castro had originally pleaded not guilty to hundreds of charges relating to three women Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, who were freed from his home on May 6 after one of the women alerted a neighbour. A six-year-old girl Castro fathered with Berry was also freed from the home.

His trial was scheduled to start Aug. 5.

The charges against Castro included rape, gross sexual imposition, assault and aggravated murder. The latter charge relates to the alleged unlawful termination of a pregnancy, according to a report from NBC News.

Castro’s victims spoke publicly for the first time since they were freed earlier this month. In a video posted to Youtube, all three women thanked the public for its support and requested privacy.