At Thursday’s emotional, 4-hour sentencing hearing, Cleveland murderer, rapist, and kidnapper Ariel Castro said, “I am not a monster. I am sick.” He denied he was a violent person and said he was a “happy person inside” but suffered from a porn addiction.
Castro, who interrupted the judge several times during the hearing, denied the murder charge for the death of the unborn baby of Michelle Knight: “There was never any evidence of that. But I didn’t want to put these women through anymore psychological…so that’s why I pled guilty to that. But there was never no evidence of a fetus. That never happened. ” Court documents revealed that Castro “kicked her in the stomach, jumped on her stomach, and starved her for days to terminate the pregnancy.”
Judge Michael Russo said, “Mr. Castro, you talked with your attorneys and you made the decision to plead the count as indicted, right?”
“Yes, that’s correct. But I never killed anyone. I am not a murderer.”
Ariel Castro, who pleaded guilty to 937 charges, including rape, kidnapping, and aggravated murder related to the kidnapping and captivity of Amanda Berry, Berry’s daughter Jocelyn, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight in Cleveland, Ohio, over the course of 11 years, was formally sentenced on Thursday. Castro had previously agreed to a sentence of life plus 1000 years of incarceration in order to avoid the death penalty for the murder of Knight’s unborn child, whom he fathered.
During the hearing, which the victims attended, Castro claimed that sex with the young women was mostly consensual and that they asked him for sex. “As God as my witness, I never tortured these victims, I never beat them,” he claimed, despite volumes of evidence to the contrary. He said, “These girls were not virgins and had been with multiple partners before me. I did not prey on these women.”