Ariel Castro’s daughter went through a rough time growing up in Castro’s home, Judge Michael Russo said on Thursday.
Jocelyn Berry grew up in a household where “doors were locked, windows were covered, people were not allowed to come over,” said Russo, before sentencing Castro to life in jail without possibility of parole for kidnapping and holding captive three women for around a decade, and murdering a child one of the women had.
Castro abused the women consistently over that time.
Russo said Berry, the daughter of Castro and Amanda Berry, one of the women held captive, had to endure a lot.
“You have exposed a young child to unbelievable conditions,” he said. Jocelyn was born after Castro raped Amanda Berry.
The judge said that Jocelyn had to see young women in chains, which Castro disputed. “She never saw anybody in chains,” Castro said.
Steve Ornstein, a post traumatic stress disorder expert and co-founder of the Neurodevelopmental Learning Institute, told Hollywood Life that Castro treated Jocelyn Berry very badly.
“He treated her like a pet — giving her the occasional treat and sometimes taking her places with him,” said Ornstein. “But most of time lets not forget this young girl was kept locked up in a dirty house, most likely in one bedroom, with no windows open. Young kids are easier to control than older ones. Ariel is a controlling person and he wanted control of these women, including his daughter. He could better control Jocelyn by taking her out to breakfast, giving her candy, making her feel special.”
Jocelyn didn’t go to school and didn’t interact with kids her age, said Ornstein, instead living “in squalor.”
The good news? “Jocelyn can recover and have a good life,” he said.
Castro had another daughter, with his ex-wife Grimilda. Emily Castro now 24, was in 2008 sentenced to 25 years in jail herself for attempting to murder her 11-month old baby, reported Fort Wayne’s Journal Gazette in 2008.
Emily tried to slash her daughter’s throat, leading to charges of attempted murder and battery. The daughter ultimately recovered.
Emily Castro sobbed through much of the hearing (Ariel Castro cried a little bit during Thursday’s sentencing) and she told the judge: “I don’t know how this happened. I want you to know I am a very good mom.”
But her brother, Anthony, who had condemned his father as a liar and a violent person, told the judge at Emily’s trial that Emily had a mental illness that the family saw everyday and it was regrettable it failed to meet the legal definition of insanity.
Emily told a private investigator during a jailhouse interview after Ariel Castro was taken into custody that Castro “is a monster.”
She said that he was violent and would savagely beat her mother, until her mother separated from him.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misrepresented who the judge was referring to as being exposed to unbelievable conditions. It was Jocelyn Berry.