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Son of Ariel Castro says he's still 'shell-shocked' by father's crime

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July 26, 2013: Ariel Castro, right, walks into the courtroom watched closely by a deputy sheriff in Cleveland. CastroAP

The son of the late Ariel Castro, who kidnapped three women and held them in his Cleveland house for the better part of a decade, made a public statement for the first time since his father hanged himself in his prison cell earlier this month. 

"I'm still shell-shocked from the way these past several months unfolded ... (Castro) deserved to pay for his actions, every day of those 1,000 years he could possibly serve," Ariel Anthony Castro write in an essay for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "My anger with him kept me from visiting him in prison, even when he was moved to a facility just 20 minutes away from my doorstep."

Castro, a former bus driver, pleaded guilty in July to 937 counts related to the kidnapping, rape, and assault of the three women: Michelle Knight, 32, Amanda Berry, 27, and Gina DeJesus, 23, and was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years. 

The younger Castro revealed in the essay that in the days after his father was arrested, his home was broken into and ransacked and he was forced to temporarily live at a friend's house to avoid prying questions from reporters. 

After Castro hanged himself in his cell on the evening of September 3, his son described a new round of media attention. 

"I had reporters, in revoltingly poor taste, seeking me out for a knee-jerk reaction, wanting to know the whereabouts of my father's remains, waiting for me outside the Franklin County coroner's office," he writes. 

Castro concludes the essay by saying that he does not hate his father, and asks whether his father's life and death "can lead to changes in how we deal with sexual predators, domestic violence, mental illness and, yes, prison safety."

"If we can prevent a repeat here or anywhere, then justice truly will have been served amid all the broken pieces my father left behind."

Click for the essay in the Cleveland Plain Dealer

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