A Manhattan jury has found Renato Seabra, a 23-year-old Portuguese former model, guilty of second-degree murder after he brutally killed and castrated his lover, 65-year-old Portuguese journalist Carlos Castro last year.
Seabra’s lawyers had originally pursued a not guilty defense on the grounds of criminal insanity. They claimed their client believed he was on a mission from god to rid the world of homosexuality and in killing Castro he was making the world a better place.
Seabra allegedly wore his victim’s testicles as a bracelet as a form of protection, wandering the streets of Manhattan and touching people with the belief that he could cure AIDS.
Castro’s mutilated body was found in his hotel room on January 7, 2011 following an argument with Seabra. A popular fashion journalist and gay rights activist, Castro met Seabra when the then-aspiring model competed on a Portuguese reality show.
Castro showered his boytoy with gifts and money, helping him forward his modeling career with trips to London and New York. But while staying in Manhattan’s Intercontinental Hotel, Castro witnessed Seabra flirting with women. According to trial testimony, he confronted the younger man, broke off the relationship and made arrangements to cut their trip short.
That was when Seabra went off. He reportedly yelled “I’m not gay anymore!” as he beat and tortured Castro for over an hour before using a corkscrew to stab and castrate him. Seabra then showered, changed, slit his wrists and took a cab to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital for treatment, where he was subsequently arrested.
Prosecutor Maxine Rosenthal told jurors that Seabra acted out of rage not insanity. Though Seabra was examined by 20 doctors at Bellevue Medical Center, all of whom agreed he had a serious mental illness, the prosecution’s expert witness, psychologist William B. Barr, concluded that Seabra was not psychotic at the time of the murder.
“The motive is as clear as if it were written in lights on a Times Square marquee,” Rosenthal said during closing arguments. “It’s about rage. It’s about humiliating and emasculating the victim.”
Rosenthal said Seabra invented the story about the testicular jewelry to save himself, noting that he had the presence of mind to shower, change, slip $1600 out of Castro’s wallet and place a “do not disturb” sign on their hotel room door.
Renato Seabra now faces a minimum 15 years in prison for second-degree murder.