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Thursday 2 October 2014

Castro children apologise to victims for 'monster' dad

Jon Swaine Cleveland

Published 11/05/2013 | 05:00

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Ariel Castro stands with his head down during his arraignment on kidnapping and rape charges

THE horrified children of the man charged with raping three young women locked in his house for a decade have denounced their father, declaring: "We don't have monster in our blood."

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As DNA tests confirmed that Ariel Castro fathered the six-year-old daughter of one of his captives, the 52-year-old bus driver's adult children made tearful apologies to his victims and their families.

"I am disgusted," said Angie Gregg, Castro's 33-year-old daughter. "There will be no visits, there will be no phone calls. He can never be Daddy again. I have no sympathy for the man."

Castro is charged with kidnapping and raping Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, as well as kidnapping his daughter Jocelyn.

All four escaped from his house last Monday. Prosecutors say they will attempt to elevate the charges to aggravated murder, after Ms Knight told police that Castro impregnated her five times before forcing her to miscarry by punching her stomach.

"I fully intend to seek charges for each and every act of sexual violence, rape, each day of kidnapping, every felonious assault, all his attempted murders and each act of aggravated murder he committed by terminating pregnancies for which he himself was responsible," said Timothy McGinty, the Cuyahoga County prosecutor.

Meanwhile, Mrs Gregg, who frequently visited her father's home in Cleveland, Ohio, and ate with him there hours before his captives emerged, said that she hoped her family would not be tarred by his alleged crimes.

"They definitely are not a reflection of myself or my children," she told CNN.

"We don't have monster in our blood." The man she considered a good father just days ago "is dead to me", she added.

Mike DeWine, Ohio's attorney general, announced yesterday that DNA tests proved that Castro fathered Jocelyn, who was born to Ms Berry, one of his kidnapping victims, on Christmas Day, 2006.

Mrs Gregg said that Castro had shown her a picture of Jocelyn, describing her as "my girlfriend's child", before dismissing Mrs Gregg's suggestion that the girl could be his daughter.

Insisting that she and her siblings had no idea of their father's actions, Mrs Gregg conceded that she was now making sense of his odd behaviour and abrupt disappearances. "It's all adding up," she said.

Blame

Castro is believed to be co-operating with investigators. Handwritten notes taken from his house are said to state: "I have a problem with my head" and to blame abuse from a relation when he was young.

His daughter Arlene, who was the best friend of his captive Ms DeJesus at the time of her 2004 kidnapping, said she hoped the two could be reunited.

"I am absolutely so, so sorry," Ms Castro (22) said on ABC News, tears running down her cheeks. "I really want to see you, Gina, and I want you to meet my kids. I'm so sorry for everything."

The FBI said yesterday that no human remains were found in Castro's house and garden. More than 200 items, including ropes and chains used as restraints, were taken from the property. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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