By Kim Palmer


CLEVELAND (Reuters) - Accused Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro has been found competent to stand trial on rape and murder charges, a judge said at a hearing Wednesday.

Castro has been accused of kidnapping three women and holding them prisoner for about a decade in his Cleveland home. He has pleaded not guilty, and his trial date has been set for August 5.

Cleveland Judge Michael Russo has denied as "inappropriate" Castro's request for visits from his 6-year-old daughter, who was born while his mother was allegedly in captivity in Castro's house.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)