CLEVELAND -- Dr. Omar Elhaj is the Medical Director for Psychological and Behavioral Consultants in Beachwood. He's also a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
He has never personally examined Ariel Castro. But based on his expertise invovling hisknowledge of the human mind he noticed some interesting things during Friday's plea hearing.
For example, Castro indicated in court that he was abused as a child. Dr. Elhaj says that's not an excuse for his behavior.
"The vast majority of people who are victims as children do not become abusers themselves."
He also noted that Castro didn't seem to convey any remorse or regret for keeping three women captive for more than a decade.
Castro blamed his addiction to pornography and sex as a reason he has trouble comprehending what he reads. Dr. Elhaj says it's not related because those functions are in different parts of the brain.
"Looking at his behavior for more than a decade where he was carefully able to keep a secret and engage in very abusive behavior does not make him a mentally ill person," Dr. Elhaj says.
But the behavior does mirror a sociopath.
"Someone who is charming, malicious, incapable of empathy and seeks omnipotent control, he wants to be in control of everything," Dr. Elhaj says.
Mental health experts did evaluate Castro and found him competent to stand trial.