Ariel Castro, the Cleveland bus driver who abducted, imprisoned and tortured three women, was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years with no parole on Thursday (August 1), after one of his victims confronted him, saying he had put her through 11 years of hell.
Castro, 53, was alternately defiant and apologetic while showing no remorse in a rambling final statement to the court. Although he said he was sorry for his actions, he insisted "I am not a monster."
"All the sex was consensual," Castro told the judge before sentencing. "The girls were not virgins. They had multiple sex partners before me."
Cuyahoga County Judge Michael Russo, describing Castro as suffering from "extreme narcissism," said the crimes were so extreme that the former school bus driver should never emerge from prison. Castro had pleaded guilty to hundreds of charges including murder for beating and starving victim Michelle Knight to force her to miscarry during pregnancy.
The full sentence was life without parole plus 1,000 years, ensuring that Castro will never come out of prison.
"You don't deserve to be out in our community, you're too dangerous, because in your mind you're a victim as opposed to those that did suffer the victimisation," Judge Michael Russo said.
Knight, 32, made a dramatic appearance in court before the sentencing and read a written statement saying that Castro had persecuted her beginning with her abduction in 2002 until she was freed on May 6, 2013.
"I spent 11 years of hell. Now your hell is just beginning," Knight said of Castro.
Wearing leg shackles and dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit, Castro sparred with the judge over some of the charges and listened to the testimony and sentencing without expression.
Earlier in the hearing, prosecutors presented graphic evidence of the crimes, including a dollhouse-size replica of the home where he imprisoned the women. There were also photos of the interior of the house showing chains, boarded up windows, numerous locks and curtains separating rooms.
Presented by Adam Justice