UPDATE: Cleveland kidnapper and victim speak at sentencing - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Cleveland kidnapper sentenced to life, no parole

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CLEVELAND (WKOW) -- The Ohio man convicted of holding three women captive in his Cleveland house for a decade has been sentenced to life without parole.

 

Ariel Castro was being given his sentence Thursday.

He had pleaded guilty to 937 counts including aggravated murder, kidnapping, rape and assault.

He got the life term for the most serious count and 1,000 years additional time for the hundreds of other counts.

A plea deal made last week spared Castro 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 to freedom May 6 when one of them, Amanda Berry, broke out part of the door to Castro's house and yelled to neighbors for help.

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CLEVELAND (WKOW) -- At his sentencing hearing on Thursday, the man convicted of imprisoning three women in his Cleveland home for a decade spoke, as did one of the victims.

Ariel Castro apologized to his victims, but says he isn't a monster, claiming most of the sex was consensual. He says he's sick and addicted to pornography.

"Eventually I married, had four children, lived a normal life, but I still practiced the art of touching myself and viewing pornography," Castro said. "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 know that's not an excuse. I'm not trying to make excuse."

Castro said he knows what he did was wrong, but that he's not a violent person and that his captives asked for sex and weren't tortured.

"Most of the sex that went on in the house, and probably all of it, was consensual," Castro said. "There were times that they would even ask me for sex. Many times."

Castro says he didn't even plan the first kidnapping.

32-year-old Michelle Knight was the first woman abducted by Castro in 2002 after he lured her into his house with the promise of a puppy for her son. Knight also spoke at the sentencing hearing on Thursday. She says she cried every night and that her years in captivity "turned into eternity."

"I worried about what would happen to me and the other girls every day," Knight said. 

Knight said she could forgive Castro, but that she'll never forget.

"You took 11 years of my life away and I have got it back," Knight said. "As for the 11 years in hell, now your hell is just beginning. I will overcome all this that happened but you will face hell for eternity. From this moment on, I will not let you define me or effect who I am. I will live on. You will die a little every day as you think about the 11 years and atrocities you inflicted on us."

Knight was the only victim to testify. Relatives spoke for the other two victims.

A judge will sentence Castro on Thursday, and could order him to serve life in prison, plus 1,000 years.

The 53-year-old Castro pleaded guilty last week to 937 counts.

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CLEVELAND (WKOW) -- After holding three women captive for about a decade, Ariel Castro will be sentenced.

Castro won't face the death penalty because of a plea deal, but he's expected to face up to a life sentence plus 1,000 years when he's sentenced in court on Thursday.

County Prosecutor Tim McGinty says the women kept diaries documenting the psychological and sexual abuse they suffered daily for a decade. He alleged Wednesday that Castro fed them just once a day.

The case broke May 6 when one victim kicked out part of a door at Castro's house and called to neighbors for help. Castro was arrested within hours.

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