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Paula Bolyard

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August 1, 2013 - 12:42 pm
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Credit: Aaron Josefczyk Reuters

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.”

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Michelle Knight was the only victim who spoke at the hearing:

Ariel Castro, I remember all the times you came home … and talked about other things and said at least I didn’t kill you.  You took 11 years of my life away and I have got it back. I spent 11 years in hell and now your hell is just beginning. I will overcome this. From this moment on, I won’t let this affect me. I will live and you will die a little every day as you think about it.

Russo scolded Castro for claiming he was a victim: “You are a victimizer.” He said Castro should not receive anything other than consecutive sentences for the multiple charges: “You are too dangerous.”

Judge Russo sentenced him to lifetime incarceration without the possibility of parole on the murder charge. He then began the agonizing process of reading the hundreds of rape, kidnapping, and sexual predator charges and sentenced Castro to hundreds of years of incarceration.

In imposing consecutive lifetime sentences that amount to 1000 years to life, Russo said, “The harm is so unusual in a completely negative sense that you took three young women out of the significant relationships they had with their families and their community at a time in their lives and you treated them like slaves, as if they were not people, like they were sex objects.”

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Russo ordered Castro not to contact any of the victims. Castro asked if that included his daughter, born to DeJesus while in captivity. Russo noted that Castro could file for parental rights, but that his no-contact order was in effect.

Sir, there is no place in this city, there is no place in this country, indeed there is no place in this world for those who enslave others, those who sexually assault others, or those who brutalize others. For ten years you preyed upon three young women. You subjected them to harsh and violent conduct. You felt you were dominating them but you were incorrect. You could not take away their dignity. Although they suffered terribly, Miss Knight, Miss DeJesus, and Miss Berry did not give up hope. They have persevered. In fact, they prevailed. These remarkable women again have their freedom, which is the most precious aspect of being an American. Mr. Castro, you forfeited that right. You will now become a member of the Dept. of Rehabilitation and Correction. You will be confined for the remainder of your days. You are hereby remanded for transport to the Lorain Correctional Institution.

Judge Russo then addressed the victims as Castro turned and looked at them:

Now for Miss Knight, Miss DeJesus, and Miss Berry as well as her daughter, we celebrate your future. We celebrate the faithfulness of your families, your friends, and and all others in this community who so fervently believed you were alive. On behalf of the judges and the staff of this court, we wish each of you success and a sense of peace.

Michelle Knight smiled as the judge addressed her directly, clearly relieved that the ordeal was over.

In addition to writing for PJ Tatler and PJ Lifestyle, Paula also writes for Ohio Conservative Review, and RedState. She is co-author of a new Ebook called, Homeschooling: Fighting for My Children’s Future. She is a member of the Wayne County Executive Committee. Paula describes herself as a Christian first, conservative second, and Republican third.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (15)
All Comments   (15)
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I'm sick of monsters who claim they're merely sick. Does that make me a monster?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Murder? Of a fetus? How's that?

"Fetus" is Liberal/Latin for "disposable non-human mass of cells."

Our nation has "murdered" something like 54 million fetuses since 1973, and the abortion practitioners are wealthy, honored... and walking around free.

Why is this guy called a sick monster while President Obama thanks God for tax-funded Planned Parenthood?

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The mind boggles. At the risk of being accused of having an "overly simplistic Manichean view of humanity" I think we can safely say this guy is just pure evil. (Also, per Hannah Arnedt, he's incredibly "banal" to boot.) The Left has done a remarkable job eliminating the concept of "good" and "evil" in society. They have successfully substituted the notion of "victim" (good) and "victimizer" (bad.) The key difference between the two worldviews is that the world of the victim and victimizer also requires a third party - the "victim advocate." This is the individual (usually self-appointed) who determines who is a "victim" and what sort of reparations they should get from the "victimizer." In this view the victim is almost an inanimate object who can only become fully realized with the aid of the "advocate." The beauty of this is that most of us know the difference between "good and evil." In the "victim/victimizer" culture it is the victim advocate who TELLS you if you are entitled to be a victim or not. Thus a thriving industry is born and moral relativism triumphs. I can understand why Mr. Castro made such a pitch in court. It has worked so well for so long for others.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What's with a sentence of "life w/o parole plus 1,000 years"?

What's that extra 1,000 years worth? It's idiotic.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No it's not. You have to understand the way the system works. Life without parole means just that to you and me, but it does NOT mean that to the penal system.

Life plus 1,000 is making sure he doesn't get out for good behavior.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Justice won't be done until other prisoners snuff him out.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
He should be sealed in plastic and flung into the sun.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is a common, even in some sense a normal, reaction to this kind of thing.

This is why we have a prohibition against "cruel and unusual punishment".


Hanging will do.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is nothing more than the sickness that comes from believing that the root cause of society's ills always lie outside one's self and never with one's self.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Here is a thought that may not be very Christian but reflects my feelings toward this thing masquerading as a human being. It would be nice if they could have a convenient noose hanging in Castro's cell for him to see every day and use when it suits him.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
He's not sick, he's a monster.


1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 thousand years behind bars can never makeup for 11 years of hell.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I completely agree. Also because the 1000 years are symbolic only, and because they are 1000 years of a thug anyway. The 11 years robbed are the most beautiful years of three worthwhile citizens. They suffered, stagnated in life, and regressed too. What can make up for that? Maybe the state of Ohio for failing to protect its citizens must materially help comfort them.

If he knew that he was sick, he should have surrendered himself headfirst to a doctor. Then I would have compassion for him. Not after that he was caught ruining more than three lives.

I have a feeling that a little more down the road he would have killed these three women, one at a time. Maybe he has done that with others that we don't know.

It adds to my disdain that this thug grows a philosopher's beard and takes the sage's pose.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A bill was introduced in the Ohio legislature to that effect to:

"award at least twenty-five thousand dollars per year from the court of claims victims of crime fund to any survivor of abduction who was abducted for a period of eight years or more; to award free tuition at any state university or college to any such survivor of abduction; to seek a waiver from the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services for medical assistance to be provided for any such survivor of abduction for the duration of the survivor's lifetime; and to name the provisions of this bill the Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus Survivors of Abduction Act."

http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=130_HB_197
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A private fund set up to aid the victims has raised more than a million dollars to date. Anyone wishing to help can donate here:

http://clevelandcourage.org/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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