Ohio Women: Ariel Castro 'Loves Child'

Ohio Women: Ariel Castro 'Loves Child'

Ariel Castro's lawyers have said he will plead not guilty to charges that he kept three women in captivity for a decade at his Ohio home.

Craig Weintraub and Jay Schlachet told WKYC-TV that the 52-year-old has been portrayed as a monster in the media, but after a three-hour meeting with him on Tuesday they do not see him that way.

Mr Schlachet said details of Castro's innocence "will be disclosed as the case progresses".

Mr Weintraub said it was unfair and offensive that "the media and the community want to demonise this man before they know the whole story".

He added that Castro "loves dearly" the daughter he fathered with alleged kidnap victim Amanda Berry while she was in captivity.

"I can tell you that Mr Castro is extremely committed to the wellbeing and positive future for his daughter, who he loves dearly," continued Mr Schlachet.

"And if people find that to be a disconnect from what he's alleged to have done, then the people will just have to deal with it. We just know how he feels about his little girl."

In an interview with CNN earlier this week, Castro's brothers themselves branded him a "monster" who they hope "rots in jail".

Castro is charged with kidnapping and raping Ms Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight.

Prosecutors say they also may charge him with the aggravated murder of unborn babies at least one of the women lost during beatings, a crime that could carry the death penalty.

The three captives were freed on May 6 after a neighbour heard calls for help and kicked in the door to Castro's house in a Cleveland suburb.