Ohio man gets life term in kidnapping of 3 women
Last Updated: 129 days ago
CLEVELAND - The Ohio man convicted of holding three women captive in his Cleveland house over a decade and raping them repeatedly has been sentenced to life without parole plus 1,000 years.
Fifty-three-year-old Ariel Castro was being given his sentence Thursday. He had pleaded guilty to 937 counts including aggravated murder, kidnapping, rape and assault.
A plea deal struck last week spared him from a possible death sentence for beating and starving a pregnant victim until she miscarried.
The women disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old.
They escaped to freedom May 6 when one of them, Amanda Berry, broke out part of the door to Castro's house and yelled to neighbors for help.
During the sentencing hearing Thursday, Castro apologized to his victims but also claims most of the sex was consensual.
Castro also said he wasn't a monster. He said he's sick and addicted to pornography. He said he didn't even plan the first kidnapping.
Castro claimed he knows what he did was wrong, but that he's not a violent person and that his captives asked for sex and weren't tortured.
The women described horrific conditions in the home, which Castro turned into a jury-rigged prison.
One of Castro's victims said at his sentencing hearing that she cried every night and that her years in captivity "turned into eternity."
Michelle Knight says she spent 11 years in hell and that Castro's hell is now beginning.
Her appearance is the first time she's been seen publicly since her rescue from the house where she was held captive for 10 years.
The 32-year-old Knight was the first woman abducted by Ariel Castro in 2002 after he lured her into his house with the promise of a puppy for her son.
Knight was the only victim to testify. Relatives spoke for the other two victims.
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