Ariel Castro Says He's No 'Monster,' Blames Porn

As he's sentenced to life in prison without parole

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Aug 1, 2013 9:29 AM CDT | Updated Aug 1, 2013 12:05 PM CDT

(Newser) – Ariel Castro has been sentenced to life without parole for kidnapping and other charges related to the three women he held captive in his home for 10 years, the AP reports. Castro spoke at his sentencing hearing today, insisting that "these people are trying to paint me as a monster and I'm not a monster. I'm sick," CNN reports. "I believe I am addicted to porn to the point that it makes me impulsive and I lost it." He also described himself as "a happy person," a "very emotional person," and said he's "not trying to make excuses." (Click for the heartbreaking testimony of Michelle Knight, one of the victims.) More of the testimony coming out, per the AP:

  • A letter left behind by Castro and found in his house read, "I'm a sexual predator," an FBI agent testified. It was titled "Confession and Details."
  • A Cleveland police officer says two of the women rescued from Castro's house jumped into her arms, crying "Save us, save us!" and that one of the victims was reluctant to leave her room at first while another had difficulty breathing.

  • A Cleveland police detective 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. The FBI agent testified that Castro created a makeshift alarm system and removed doorknobs, among other things, to turn his house into a prison.
  • He 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.
  • In a court filing, the Cuyahoga County prosecutor said Castro chained his captives by their ankles, fed them only one meal a day, and provided plastic toilets in their bedrooms that were infrequently emptied. At one point, he locked all of them in a vehicle in his garage for three days while he had a visitor, according to the filing.
Details also came out of how Castro used his own children to lure the victims into his car and home.

Images from the video provided by Hennes Paynter Communications shows from left: Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight.
Images from the video provided by Hennes Paynter Communications shows from left: Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight.   (AP Photo/Hennes Paynter Communications)
Ariel Castro sits in the courtroom during the sentencing phase Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, in Cleveland.
Ariel Castro sits in the courtroom during the sentencing phase Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, in Cleveland.   (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
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