CLEVELAND - The lawyers who defended a Cleveland man who held three women captive for a decade say their client clearly fits the profile of sociopathic disorder and that they hope researchers study him for clues that could be used to stop other predators.
Attorneys Craig Weintraub and Jaye Schlachet told the Cleveland Jewish News in a wide-ranging interview that while the public can easily label Ariel Castro a monster and evil, studies must be conducted to determine whether his issue is genetic, organic or "limited simply to mental health."
Castro admitted to kidnapping and repeatedly raping the women until they escaped his home in May. He has was sentenced this month to life in prison plus 1,000 years and during his sentencing attributed his "sickness" to an addiction to pornography and sexual abuse he himself suffered as a child.
But, Weintraub said, "there are a lot of people walking the streets who were victims of sexual abuse and addicted to pornography who aren't kidnapping women off the streets, holding them hostage for 10 years and terrorizing them.
"A lot of people don't do that. They get help. For whatever reason, he lacked the insight to get help, or desire, which exacerbated his mental health issues."
Castro, a 53-year-old former Cleveland school bus driver, argued during his sentencing hearing that he was not a monster and noted his affection for the 6-year-old daughter he had with one of his captives.
Prosecutors considered seeking the death penalty against Castro after it was alleged that he forced one of the women to miscarry after she became pregnant various times.
Weintraub told the newspaper that prosecutors had no forensic or medical evidence that could establish that the woman was pregnant when she claimed to be and that the pregnancies were aborted.
But the lawyers said that the deal they struck with prosecutors that took the death penalty off the table spared the women from the anguish of reliving what they went through and saved taxpayers millions of dollars that would have been spent on appeals.
Online: Cleveland Jewish News: http://bit.ly/16x5yY9