CLEVELAND – A convicted sex offender pleaded guilty Monday to hundreds of charges, including the murders of two women more than 15 years ago.
Elias Acevedo entered the pleas in a hushed courtroom as relatives of some of the victims watched, some wiping away tears.
In all, Acevedo, 49, agreed to plead guilty to 297 counts, including kidnapping and raping children. He accepted a life prison term under the plea deal.
The murder charges involve a Cleveland neighbor, Pamela Pemberton, who was killed in 1994, and 18-year-old Christina Adkins, who was pregnant when she disappeared in 1995.
Acevedo also was charged with rape and sexual assault involving attacks on minors, some dating back more than 25 years. He folded his cuffed handed together as Judge Michael Donnelly read the terms of the plea deal and explained it.
Acevedo's case is the latest among a group of high-profile cases involving violence against women in and around Cleveland.
Authorities re-examined the disappearances of women in the city following the escape of three women held captive for a decade in the run-down home of Ariel Castro.
The prosecutor's office says Acevedo most recently lived about a block away from Castro, who kidnapped the three women when they were in their teens or early 20s, imprisoned them in his home and raped them repeatedly, fathering a child with one of them.
The women escaped on May 6 while Castro was away from the home. Castro killed himself in prison on Sept. 3, just weeks into a life prison sentence.