Ariel Castro, who pleaded guilty to the abduction, rape and torture of three women in Cleveland that he kept in his house for more than a decade, was sentenced Thursday to a life term with no chance of parole, plus 1,000 years.
Before the judge handed down the sentence, Castro addressed the court. Here are some selected quotes from him:
- "These people are trying to paint me as a monster. I'm not a monster. I'm sick. I think my sexual problem is so bad on my mind that I'm impulsive ..."
- "I believe I am addicted to porn to the point that it really makes me impulsive and I just don't realize that what I'm doing is wrong."
- "I'm not trying to make excuses here because I know when I told David that [on] the sex crimes I will be put away forever. I'm not contesting that."
- "I have been a musician for a long time, maybe 25, 30 years ... and to be a monster like they are trying to say I am, I don't think that I can handle that. I'm a happy person inside."
On abducting Michelle Knight, his first victim:
- "When I picked up the first victim, I ... didn't even plan it that day...."
- "But I know it's wrong and I know — I'm not trying to make excuses here. I know that I'm 100 per cent wrong for doing that but I'm just saying that they're trying to say I'm a violent person and I'm not a violent person. Like I said, I drove a school bus, I was a musician and I had a family. I do have value for human life because every time I came home I would be so glad for the situation, as crazy as it may sound."
On his daughter, who was born to Amanda Berry, his second victim:
- "She never saw anything violent going on in that house, your honour. And if you question her she'll say the opposite and she'll probably say my dad is the best dad in the world, because that is how I tried to raise her in those six years."
- "These accusations that I would come home and beat them, those are totally wrong, your honour, because like I said before I am not a violent person. I know what I did was wrong but I'm not a violent person. I simply kept them there without them being able to leave ..."
- "Most of the sex that went on in the house, practically all of it, was consensual."