Criminal Justice

Ohio kidnapper Castro fits sociopath profile and should be studied, his lawyers say

Lawyers for the Cleveland man who pleaded guilty in the kidnapping and rape of three women he held captive at his home say their client fits the profile for a sociopathic disorder and should be studied.

The lawyers for Ariel Castro—Craig Weintraub and Jaye Schlachet—gave an exclusive interview to the Cleveland Jewish News that was summarized by the Associated Press. They noted Castro’s comments at a sentencing hearing this month, when he said he had a “sickness” attributable to a pornography addiction and sexual abuse as a child.

But Weintraub said there are lots of sexual abuse victims with porn addictions that don’t kidnap women, hold them hostage for 10 years and terrorize them.

“We have familiarity with forensic diagnoses and clearly felt that he fit the profile of sociopathic disorder as well as narcissism and likelihood of antisocial personality,” Weintraub told the Cleveland Jewish News. “So the public can easily label that as ‘monster’ and ‘evil,’ but we also look at it in a forensic sense as a mental health issue, because someone doesn’t get to this level of depravity and have the ability to lead a double life unless there are significant mental health issues.

“I think that labeling is a copout, to some degree. I think there needs to be, and we’re hopeful there will be, some forensic studies of him, to try to understand if there’s a way we can find clues in personalities like his so the predators are pulled off the streets and the public is protected. … We think it could be extremely valuable to society if we could get a group of forensic psychiatrists to conduct evaluations, interview him, interview the family members, make a determination as to whether it’s a genetic issue or organic issue, or it’s limited simply to mental health.”

The lawyers also said the neighbors should have been suspicious about Castro’s boarded-up windows, and questioned why his family didn’t pick up on signals that something was wrong.

Castro was sentenced to life plus 1,000 years in prison in a plea deal that avoided the death penalty for alleged fetal homicide.

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