CLEVELAND (August 1, 2013)—Ariel Castro, 53, of Cleveland, who was convicted of holding three women captive in his house over the course of a decade and raping them repeatedly was sentenced to life without parole plus 1,000 years Thursday.
Castro earlier pleaded guilty to 937 counts including aggravated murder, kidnapping, rape and assault in a plea deal struck last week that 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.
Victim Michelle Knight, 32, said during the sentencing hearing Thursday she cried every night and said her years as a captive “turned into eternity.”
Knight said she spent 11 years in hell and that Castro's hell is now beginning.
Knight was the first woman whom Castro abducted.
She was taken captive 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.
Castro said Thursday he isn’t a monster, but instead said he's sick and addicted to pornography.
He said he didn't even plan the first kidnapping.
He said he knows what he did was wrong, but said he's not a violent person.
He claimed his captives asked for sex and weren't tortured.