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Man charged with kidnapping, rape of 7-year-old Hardin County girl pleads not guilty

A judge set 57-year-old Charles Castle's bond at $1.5 million.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A man who was charged with the rape and kidnapping of a 7-year-old Hardin County girl pleaded not guilty to all counts during his arraignment on Tuesday.

Last week, 57-year-old Charles Castle was indicted on 17 charges including kidnapping, rape, felonious assault, endangering children, burglary, tampering with evidence, attempted aggravated murder, breaking and entering and possessing criminal tools.

On Tuesday, a judge set his bond at $1.5 million. If Castle were to post bond, he would be placed under house arrest and required to wear an ankle monitor.

The girl was reported missing on Nov. 11, 2021 after being last seen in her home in the 600 block of South Leighton Street the night before.

She was found on Nov. 12 inside an abandoned home on Township Road, located a few miles from where she was last seen.

Kenton Police Department was able to safely locate her thanks to a tip from a longtime Hardin County resident. Police later arrested Castle.

During his arraignment last month, prosecutors read off a list of Castle’s past convictions, which includes drug possession to burglary.

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