The U.S. man convicted of holding three women captive in his house for over a decade and raping them repeatedly has been sentenced to life without parole.
Fifty-three-year-old Ariel Castro was given his sentence on Thursday. He had pleaded guilty to 937 counts including aggravated murder, kidnapping, rape and assault.
Castro apologised and told the court he isn’t a monster. He said he’s sick and addicted to pornography, but he claimed that most of the sex with the women was consensual.
A plea deal struck last week spared him from a possible death sentence for beating and starving a pregnant victim until she miscarried.
The women disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004 when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old.
They escaped on May 6 when one of them, Amanda Berry, broke out part of the door to Castro’s house and yelled to neighbours for help.
The women described horrific conditions in the home, which Castro turned into a jury-rigged prison.
‘I spent 11 years in hell’
One of three women kidnapped told Castro on Thursday that her life is just beginning, while his is over.
“You took 11 years of my life away, and I have got it back,” Michelle Knight told Castro. “I spent 11 years in hell. Now you’re hell is just beginning. I will overcome all this has happened, but you will face hell for eternity.”