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Castro brothers insist on innocence

AFP-JIJI

The brothers of the U.S. man charged with kidnapping and raping three women, locking them in his home for a decade, said in an interview aired Sunday that they had no idea what was happening.

“If I knew that my brother was doing this, I would not be, not — in a minute, I would call the cops, because that ain’t right,” Pedro Castro, 54, told CNN. “If I knew, I would have reported it, brother or no brother,” he added.

Pedro and his youngest brother, 50-year-old Onil, were arrested soon after their brother Ariel Castro was arrested on May 6 after the three women, and a daughter born to one of them while in captivity, were discovered at Ariel’s home in Cleveland. Pedro and Onil were later released, with police saying there was no evidence they participated in the crimes.

In the interview, both said they feared they would never fully be freed of the suspicion raised after police announced their arrest and made their mug shots public.

“It’s going to haunt me down because people going to think, ‘Yeah, Pedro got something to do with this.’ And Pedro don’t have nothing to do with this,” Pedro said.

His brother Onil concurred, adding, “The people out there that know me, they know that Onil Castro is not that person and has nothing to do with that — would never even think of something like that.”

The two and their 71-year-old mother are in hiding, saying people have thrown rocks at their homes and sent them death threats over the Internet, CNN reported.

Ariel Castro, a 52-year-old unemployed bus driver, was arrested after one of the victims, 27-year-old Amanda Berry, managed to call out to a neighbor, who kicked in the door to the suspect’s home and rescued her and her 6-year-old daughter.

Police later entered the house, finding two more women: 23-year-old Gina DeJesus and 32-year-old Michelle Knight.

The prosecutor has said investigators would go back over the many torments Castro allegedly inflicted on the women, with the aim of bringing additional charges, including ones that may carry the death penalty.