Cleveland – In one of his first public pronouncements since his father's arrest, sentencing and eventual suicide, the son of Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro says he hopes his father's life and death can lead to changes in handling sexual predators, domestic violence, mental illness and prison safety.
Anthony Castro writes in a Cleveland Plain Dealer column published Sunday that "justice truly will have been served" if his father's horrific acts can prevent similar crimes.
"If my father's life and death can lead to changes in how we deal with sexual predators, domestic violence, mental illness and, yes, prison safety, then we should have those discussions," Castro wrote. "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."
Ariel Castro committed suicide in prison this month while beginning a life sentence for imprisoning three women in his home for a decade, repeatedly beating and raping them.
Anthony Castro writes that he was "horrified and disgusted" by his father's actions, "shell-shocked" by the ensuing media barrage and still angry when Castro killed himself.
"I hid at a friend's house after the news broke because I was shaken to the core, and I didn't want to be forced to grieve with cameras and microphones pointed at me," he wrote.
He writes that he isn't going to hate his father, saying his punishment is between Castro "and his Maker."
"Both of my parents are gone now, and my father's punishment is between he and his Maker," he wrote. "Hate isn't going to do anyone any good."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.