Lawyer: Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro will plead not guilty


Ariel Castro, 52, appears in court May 9, 2013, to faces charges that he kidnapped and raped three young women and held them in his Cleveland home for a decade. He did not enter a plea and stood with his head bowed while the court set bail at $8 million.


Emmanuel Dunand

Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro will plead not guilty to kidnapping and rape charges, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Craig Weintraub told WKYC his client had been wrongly portrayed in media as a "monster." 

"I know that family members who have been interviewed by the media have expressed that as well."

When probed on how the three women, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight ended up in Castro's home, Weintraub said: "That fact will be disclosed as the case progresses. I am aware of how he came into contact with them."

He added that Castro is "extremely committed" to playing a role in his six-year-old daughter's life, who he fathered with Amanda Berry, 27. 

"He's not a monster and he shouldn't be demonised," said lawyer Jaye Schlachet, BBC News reported.

Schlachet said the 52-year-old is on suicide watch in Cuyahoga County jail in Ohio and has no contact with other prisoners.

More from GlobalPost: Ariel Castro's brothers say he is a 'monster' who should 'rot in jail'

Castrol is charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape, Reuters reported. 

During his first court appearance last week, Castro did not enter a plea, but prosecutor Brian Murphy told the court: "The charges against Mr Castro are based on premeditated, deliberate, depraved decisions to snatch three young ladies from Cleveland West Side streets to be used in whatever self-gratifying, self-serving way he saw fit."