'I'm not a monster'

Castro apologizes before being sentenced to life in prison
Associated Press
Aug 1, 2013

An Ohio man convicted of imprisoning three women in his house and raping them repeatedly for a decade blamed his actions on a sex addiction and said he was "not a monster" as he was sentenced Thursday to life without parole plus 1,000 years.

Ariel Castro, 53, apologized to his victims before he was sentenced. He blamed a sex addiction, his former wife and even the FBI for not thoroughly investigating the abductions while claiming most of the sex was consensual and that the women were never tortured.

"These people are trying to paint me as a monster," he said. "I'm not a monster. I'm sick."

Just before the sentencing, one of three women he kidnapped stood within feet of Castro and told him his life was over.

"You took 11 years of my life away and I have got it back," Michelle Knight said. "I spent 11 years in hell. Now your hell is just beginning."

Knight, 32, was the first woman Castro abducted in 2002 after he lured her into his house with the promise of a puppy for her son. Relatives of the other two victims spoke on their behalf.

At one point in Castro's statement, he said, "There was harmony in that home," a claim Judge Michael Russo dismissed.

"I'm not sure there's anyone in America that would agree with you," he said.

Castro pleaded guilty last week to 937 counts including aggravated murder, kidnapping, rape and assault. A deal struck with prosecutors Friday spared him from a possible death sentence for beating and starving a pregnant victim until she miscarried.

During his statement, Castro pointed out that the FBI talked with his daughter, who was friends with one of the women he kidnapped.

"The FBI let these girls down when they questioned my daughter," he said. "They failed to question me."

He also said he had never had any trouble until he met his wife, who has since died.

"I was never abusive until I met her," he said.

The judge told Castro that there was no place in the world for people who enslave others.

"These women never gave up hope," Russo said. "In fact, they prevailed."

As Castro was led away, Knight watched, smiling.

Thursday's hearing gave prosecutors a chance to detail some of Castro's assaults and law enforcement a chance to describe the jury-rigged prison he built in his ramshackle home.

FBI agent Andrew Burke said Castro created a makeshift alarm system and chained the women inside bolted bedrooms.

Bedroom windows were boarded shut from the inside with heavy closet doors and doorknobs had been removed and replaced with multiple locks, he said. The house was divided in ways to make it more secure and to hide the existence of rooms, he said.

Burke also testified that Castro would occasionally pay his victims after raping them. But he then would require them to pay him if they wanted something special from the store.

Responding to questions from prosecutors, Cleveland police detective Andrew Harasimchuk said that the women all described being physically, sexually and emotionally assaulted for years. He said all three women were abducted after Castro offered them a ride and that each was chained in his basement and sexually assaulted within a few hours of being kidnapped.

Some horrific details of the women's ordeal had already emerged, including tales of being chained to poles in the basement, to a bedroom heater or inside a van. One woman was forced to wear a motorcycle helmet while chained in the basement and, after she tried to escape, had a vacuum cleaner cord wrapped around her neck.

Castro repeatedly starved and beat one of the victims each time she was pregnant, forcing her to miscarry five times.

He forced the same woman on threat of death to safely deliver the child he fathered with another victim on Christmas Day 2006. The same day, prosecutors say, Castro raped the woman who helped deliver his daughter.

The women quickly escaped after Amanda Berry kicked out the door panel on May 6 and Castro was arrested within hours. The women disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old.

Berry, 27, made a surprise onstage appearance at a rap concert last weekend, and a second victim, Gina DeJesus, 23, has made a few televised comments. Knight appeared with Berry and DeJesus in a video in early July thanking the community for its support.

___

Welsh-Huggins reported from Columbus.

 

Comments

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Couldn't get past the headline, was wiping away tears of laughter. The rest of the article wasn't really even necessary other than to rub in his acts.

To an extent though with recent political upheavals over "sickness" perhaps the excuse-train has finally pulled out of the station and some people will stop accepting this to garner support? Reminds me of the San Antonio mayor wanting the public to pay for his legal defense and treatment, citing he wasn't properly trained for his job.

Ugh...my tears are of sadness now...

bigdad1205

Not one bit of remorse. Continue to blame others for your actions. Pathetic.
Now we can only hope your new jail house buddies use you for a pin cushion for a while before they end your sorry existence.

Fromthe419

'I'm not a monster' That's like Bigdog saying he is not a Liberal or me saying I'm not a Libertarian. That man is delusional.

The Big Dogs Back

Bullspit

Simple Enough II

I think you ment bullshit.FIFY!

Mum-of-One

He was never abusive until he met his wife? Is he blaming his deceased wife for his abusive behavior? Typical.

Unassumer

He's not a monster; just a sick bas**rd that has to chain women up to force them to have a relationship with him. The sex was not consensual by any means. I believe he is blaming women for his mistreatment of women. None of it is his fault in his opinion. Thankfully he'll have many years to dwell on it.

Stop It

That's what Goddzilra said before he toasted Tokyo.

starryeyes83

Yeah, but Godzilla has class... the p 0s dont

xtensionofme

I only hope his cell mates enjoy subjecting him to the same treatment he considered to be "consensual" with his three prisoners. Enjoy, Castro, you monster!

ladydye_5

Well, if he is "sick" go ahead and treat him. Cure him. The he can sit in prison for 1000 years and reflect on what he did. He can think about it every day as others spread their "SICKNESS" around on HIM. He is what is all WRONG with society. NO remorse, NO responsibility. It is not his fault. Blame everyone else.

gramafun

The only good that came out of this court proceeding was it is the LAST time anyone will see or hear from the sicko again.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

At least until he has an "accident" in jail. Funny how volunteering for roof repair can be hazardous...

thinkagain

Compared to Democrats who have participated in the slaughter of millions of unborn children, he’s the cookie monster.