TODAY   |  May 15, 2013

Attorney: Ariel Castro loves his daughter ‘dearly’

After meeting with Ariel Castro behind bars, the accused kidnapper’s attorneys are speaking out, painting him as a loving dad who is “extremely committed” to his daughter by Amanda Berry, one of the women he’s accused of holding captive for a decade. NBC’s Jeff Rossen reports.

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>> have exclusive new details this morning tied to the cleveland kidnappings case. the lawyers for the suspect, ariel castro , are speaking out for the first time on his behalf. jeff rossen has more on that.

>> hey, matt. we have heard a lot about ariel castro . police say he kidnapped, raped and tortured those women for a decade in his house. his relatives call him a monster. they say castro is a loving dad. late tuesday, ariel astcastro met with his new legal team inside the county jail . when his lawyers emerged they were painting a new picture of this man accused of unspeakable crimes.

>> the initial portrayal by the media has been one of a, quote, monster, and that's not the impression that i got.

>> reporter: they spoke exclusively to nbc affiliate wkyc laying out the defense strategy for the first time.

>> it definitely is going to be two words -- not guilty.

>> reporter: but police sources say in his interrogation castro confessed, giving investigators exacting detail about how he abducted michelle, amanda , and gina.

>> this child kidnapper operated a torture chamber and private prison in the heart of our city.

>> reporter: but castro 's lawyers say he hasn't admitted the kidnappings to them. so how did the girls end up in his house?

>> that fact will be disclosed as the case progresses.

>> reporter: but you know?

>> i am aware of how he came into contact with them.

>> reporter: but perhaps the most surprising comments came next. castro 's feelings for amanda berry's 6-year-old daughter. according to the police report , amanda had to deliver her baby in a plastic pool in the house. dna now confirms castro is the father.

>> mr. castro is extremely committed to the well-being and positive future for his daughter who he loves dearly.

>> the lawyers say they will mount the best defense they can and may request a change of venue for a fair trial . castro remains in jail on suicide watch . no television, no radio, just access