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This man deserved his 1,000-year punishment

Last updated on: August 02, 2013 15:15 IST

This man deserved his 1,000-year punishment

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Rediff Newsdesk

Ariel Castro’s scraggly beard, innocuous spectacles and subtle demeanour could mislead most around him with conviction. But that conviction belies the horrible sins that he committed over a decade.

As Castro waited for the judge to finish calculating the number of years he was to be incarcerated for, his victims prayed for the worst for him.

Castro pleaded guilty to 937 counts, including murder and kidnapping. 

For a decade, Michelle Knight, Georgina DeJesus and Amanda Berry bore the brunt of atrocities that he dealt on them in his Cleveland home. He chained them, bashed them, raped them and terminated the resulting pregnancies by punching them in the stomach.

The ghastly series of abused met with justice on Thursday when Judge Michael Russo of the Cuyahoga County of Ohio handed down a sentence of life in prison plus 1,000 years.

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Image: Ariel Castro breaks down while talking about the child that he fathered with Amada Berry as he addresses the court
Photographs: Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters

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Unemotionally dismissing Castro's attempts to play victim -- claiming to be a porn and masturbation addict -- the judge said, "Excuses don't take away the harm that's involved. You have extreme narcissism and it seems rather pervasive."

"There is no place in this city, there is no place in this country, there is no place in this world for those who enslave others."

Castro’s prosecuters contended that Castro lured the women into his car with the promise of a ride.

He would force the women to play Russian roulette and throw money at them after raping them. He chained the three women in rooms; 99 ft of chains snaked through the walls of his house with boarded windows and alarms on every way out.

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Image: Judge Michael J Russo looks on as the images of the three Cleveland kidnapped women (L-R) Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus are shown on a television screen during the sentencing
Photographs: Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters

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This man deserved his 1,000-year punishment

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The women were freed in May after Berry shouted for help while Castro was away.

According to court documents, multiple officers testified that Castro appeared to show no remorse for his crimes.

Prosecutor Anna Faraglia said Castro would talk to his victims' parents as if he were distraught by their disappearances when "they were right underneath his roof," Faraglia said.

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Image: Michelle Knight, one of the three kidnapped women, pauses to wipe away tears as she reads her statements during the sentencing
Photographs: Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters

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This man deserved his 1,000-year punishment

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Prior to Castro’s sentencing, his victims spared no words to express their hatred for their tormentor.

Calling Castro a hypocrite, Michelle Knight said, "You took 11 years of my life away. I spent 11 years in hell. Now, your hell is just beginning."

"I can forgive you, but I will never forget. Nobody should go through what I went through.”

Knight said she 'will overcome what happened' but Castro 'will face hell for eternity'.

"I will live on. You will die a little every day."

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Image: A model of the home of Ariel Castro is displayed in the court room during the sentencing
Photographs: Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters

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This man deserved his 1,000-year punishment

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After receiving his sentence, Castro turned around and glanced at family members of the victims.

“I am truly sorry,” he said, "thank you victims. Please find it in your heart to forgive me.”

Nobody in the courtroom or outside believed him.

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Image: Castro speaks towards one of his victims Michelle Knight
Photographs: Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters

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