Criminal Justice

Ariel Castro gets life plus 1,000 years, says 'I am not a monster,' cites 'harmony' among captives

Sentenced to life plus 1,000 years on Thursday for kidnapping two teens and a young women and holding them captive at his Ohio home and raping and torturing them for nearly a decade, Ariel Castro did not appear to have a grasp on reality.

After testimony about facts such as the 92 pounds of chain he used to restrain his victims and the games of Russian roulette he had forced them to play, he claimed a sex addiction. “I’m not a monster, I’m sick,” he said, andhe repeatedly spoke about the “harmony” that existed in his Cleveland home, the New York Times (reg. req.) and the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reported.

“The sex that went on in the house, practically all of it was consensual,” the 53-year-old former school bus driver said at one point. “There were times they would even ask me for sex.”

Freed in May after one of the women escaped and called police, the three victims may never entirely recover from their ordeal, a psychiatrist who testified for the prosecution told the Cuyahoga County court.

One of the three, Michelle Knight, spoke at the hearing and was congratulated by the judge for her restraint after hearing Castro deny the gravity of his crimes and ask forgiveness.

“After 11 years I am finally being heard, and it is liberating,” she said at one point, telling Castro: “I can forgive you, but I cannot forget.”

A CNN article about Castro’s sentencing also links to video from the court hearing today.

See also: “Man accused of keeping three women in his ‘torture chamber’ home pleads not guilty to 329 counts” “Ariel Castro takes plea in Ohio kidnap case, expected to get life plus 1,000 years”

ABC News: “Evidence from Ariel Castro Kidnapping Case”

CNN: “Inside Cleveland’s haunted house”

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