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Published: Monday, 7/29/2013

Life term appropriate, Ariel Castro’s son says

Anthony Castro tells ‘Today’ he won’t visit dad

BLADE NEWS SERVICES
Ariel Castro Ariel Castro
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

CLEVELAND — The son of the Cleveland man who admitted kidnapping, raping, and enslaving three women for about a decade said Monday his father belongs in prison for the rest of his life.

In an interview on NBC’s Today show, Anthony Castro also said he has nothing to say to his father, Ariel Castro, and will not visit him in prison.

Ariel Castro, 53, is expected to be sentenced Thursday to life in prison plus 1,000 years after pleading guilty last week to 937 counts in a deal that spared him the death penalty.

“I think it’s the best possible sentence,” Anthony Castro said. “I think if he really can’t control his impulses and he really doesn’t have any value for human life the way this case has shown, then behind bars is where he belongs for the rest of his life.”

Anthony Castro, 31, said his father was violent. Anthony said he often cried himself to sleep because he had welts on his legs from beatings.

Still, he said, he wasn’t prepared to hear the details of what his father did to the women.

“I was shocked because of the magnitude of such a crime,” Anthony Castro said. “I don’t think I could ever imagine anyone doing that that, let alone to find out it was my own flesh and blood, my father.”

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight disappeared between 2002 and 2004 when they were 16, 14, and 20 years old. They escaped in May when one of them kicked out part of a door and called to neighbors for help.

Anthony Castro, 31, said he felt “overwhelming joy” when he first heard the women had been found and freed but was horrified when he learned from Ms. Berry’s 911 call that it was his father who had held them.

Anthony Castro had been a journalism student at Bowling Green University in 2004 when he wrote an article about the three missing women. He lives and works in Columbus.

Ariel and Grimelda Figueroa also had three daughters, including Emily Castro, who is in prison serving a 25-year sentence after being convicted of attempting to murder her baby daughter in 2007.



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