Ariel Castro, the man suspected of holding three women captive in his Cleveland home for about a decade, has accepted a plea deal that will see him plead guilty to hundreds of counts against him, including kidnapping, rape, and aggravated murder.
The plea deal will spare Castro from the death penalty, but he has yet to be sentenced. The recommended sentence is life without parole plus 1,000 years.
He earlier pleaded not guilty.
Contrary to Castro’s prior appearances in court, on Friday he appeared alert and responsive to the judge, even seeming calm and admitting to his “sexual problems throughout my whole years.”
He also told the judge that he “was a victim as a child.”
“I said I was willing to work with the FBI and I would tell them everything,” he told the judge. “I knew I was going to get pretty much the book thrown at me.”
When the judge asked Castro to agree that he’s a sexually violent predator, Castro said “the violent part I don’t agree on.”
Castro was offered the plea deal earlier this week. He’s been accused of raping the women during their captivity and forcing several abortions on at least one of them.
The three victims — Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight — disappeared when they were teenagers (with the exception of Knight, who was 20). They were allegedly held in horrendous conditions and made a dramatic escape earlier this year when Berry broke through the front door of the house while Castro was out.
Castro fathered one child with Berry. He is now banned from seeing the child but has asked in court to be allowed to visit her. He’s been denied each time.
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