In 2004, a man named Fernando Colon told FBI investigators that they should look into Ariel Castro as someone connected to the disappearances of Amanda Berry and DeJesus. He was the last person to see DeJesus before she was taken.
As history bears out, the FBI didn’t follow up on Colon’s suggestion.
That same year, he was convicted of two counts of gross sexual imposition and classified as a sex offender for molesting two of Castro’s daughters. He claims that Castro helped “orchestrate” the criminal case after Colon began living with Castro’s ex-common-law wife, Grimilda Figueroa. The two had met in the emergency room, after Castro beat her so badly she ended up in the hospital.
Colon said their own common-law marriage was a happy one. Castro and Grimilda’s daughters Emily and Arlene, lived with them as well. Against ongoing harassment from Castro, Colon began fearing for his and his wife’s lives. When Castro accused him of molesting his two youngest daughters, the Cleveland Police Department moved in. Convictions followed.
In other media reports, Colon has said that he is Castro’s “forgotten victim.”
Colon may now get a new trial, as Judge John Russo will hold a hearing to decide whether to reopen the case on May 19.
“We’ve been stonewalled at every turn,” says Chris Giannini, who’s been working this case pro bono for years. He and Colon maintain that, in all likelihood and based on everything we now know, Castro himself was sexually aggressive toward his daughters. “He told them specifically that they should be looking at Ariel.”