Thursday, August 1, 2013

Ariel Castro sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for raping and kidnapping 3 women whom he held captive against their will for over 9 years, victim Michelle Knight spoke at sentencing of the now convicted kidnapper and rapist

Ariel Castro
CLEVELAND, Ohio- Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Michael Russo sentenced Ariel Castro to life in prison without the possibility of parole on August 1 for kidnapping and raping Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight and holding the three women captive for 10 years at his west side home on Seymour Ave in Cleveland, Oh., a celebrated case that has captured the nation's attention.

"Nobody should have to go through what I went through," said Knight in a prepared statement.

Knight said that her bond with DeJesus helped her make it through the unprecedented ordeal that she dubbed "11 years in hell."

Addressing Castro in the packed courtroom, Knight said that "I will live on, you will die a little every day."  

Neither DeJesus nor Berry spoke at the sentencing. 

DeJesus' cousin spoke on her behalf and Berry's sister spoke for her.

DeJesus was held captive for nine years against her will, Berry 10, and Knight 11 years.

Castro spoke at his sentencing and pretended not to know what he had dome.  He told Russo that "I never killed anyone and they were not murdered." He apologized to the three women and said that "I am not a monster."

Police, however, found 99 feet of chains in the house, which is slated to be torn down within a week.. 

But the judge did not buy into it 

"You used  deception and chains and other means to hold captive three young women," the judge said as he scolded Castro, a former Cleveland schools bus driver.

Russo labeled the 52-year-old Castro a sex offended after reading a lengthy statement. 

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor  Tim McGinty held a press conference after the sentencing and  praised Cleveland police and the county sheriff' office around the case before saying the three women were heroes in their own right.