Ariel Castro's attorneys say he plans to plead not guilty to kidnapping the three women he allegedly trapped in his house for over a decade so he could rape and beat them at will. Meanwhile, more chilling details have surfaced: sources say two of the women, treated like "prisoners of war," will never be the same again.
Castro apparently favored Amanda Berry over Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight; as previously reported, her let her carry her pregnancy to term while he supposedly beat Knight every time he impregnated her until she miscarried. Sources told Reuters that Berry got other special treatment, if you can call "not being tortured as much or as often" anything close to "special":
One of the sources, who has been in the house, said the basement had chains coming from the walls and "dog leashes attached to the ceiling." Knight and DeJesus told police they spent extensive time in the basement. A second source corroborated the details.
"One of the girls has difficulty moving her head around from being chained up," said one of the sources. The second source identified DeJesus as the woman suffering this injury.
"It was like they were POWs (prisoners of war). They had bed sores from being left in positions for extended lengths of time," a source said.
All the bedroom doors in the house had padlocks on the outside and the rooms were spare with only a mattress on the floor. Their movement through the house was very restricted, the women have told authorities.
"If he left for long periods of time he would sometimes duct tape-up the women over all parts of their faces, even their eyes, only leaving an opening so they could breathe. Then he would just rip it off pulling off skin and hair," one of the sources said.
"There is a reason why you have only seen a picture of Amanda (Berry)," one source said. She was photographed smiling immediately, while DeJesus and Knight — gaunt from malnutrition because Castro "would bring food to one or two of the girls and made the others watch as they or he would eat in front of them" — have stayed out of public view.
Meanwhile, Castro's lawyers are doing the rounds explaining that their client is really a pretty good guy if you don't jump to conclusions. "The initial portrayal by the media has been one of a 'monster' and that's not the impression that I got when I talked to him for three hours," attorney Craig Weintraub told WKYC-TV, saying Castro had been "unjustly depicted" in news accounts.
"I know the media wants to jump to conclusions and all the people in the community want to say terrible things about the person who's accused," attorney Jaye Schlachet said. "We are not even at the beginning of the process. If this was a marathon race, we're not even at the starting line yet."
That's what we're worried about.
"I can tell you that Mr. Castro is extremely committed to the well-being and positive future for his daughter, who he loves dearly," said 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."
"Deal with it." Sassy!
Also: Castro is feeling rather lonely at the moment.
"He's watched completely," said Schlachet said. "He has a window through his door. He doesn't have a television, doesn't have radio, doesn't have magazines, no access to newspapers. He's completely isolated from society."
How horrible and isolated he must feel.
Image via AP.