Ariel Castro stood in court Friday during his sentencing hearing and insisted that he’s not a violent predator and that the sex his three victims were subjected to over the course of their decade-long imprisonment was consensual.
Castro was sentenced to life in prison without parole. The judge added hundreds more years on top of the life sentence for other specific counts attached to Castro’s abuse. Castro pleaded guilty to the 937 counts against him, but maintains that he’s not a violent person.
Castro blamed the kidnapping on his sex addiction and compared it to alcoholism. Castro claims that he had no control over his addiction and said that he’s not a monster.
In response to Castro’s claim that there “was harmony in the house” where Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight were kept, the judge said: “I’m not sure there’s anybody else in America who would agree with you.”
The judge also said that Castro is an extreme narcissist. He was full of justifications for his actions, including rape, kidnapping, and domestic abuse. He showed no remorse for the abuse.
Below is a sampling of what Castro said in court:
- I’ve been a musician for a long time. To be a musician and to be a monster, I don’t think I can handle that. I’m a happy person inside.
- I drove a school bus for 21 years. I did a very good job. Towards the end I started slacking off, trying to get fired, because I knew it was just too much. The job was too stressful and coming home to my situation, I just couldn’t juggle both of them.
- [In regard to his ex-wife] I was never abusive until I met her. … They’re saying I’m a wife beater, that’s wrong. This happened because I couldn’t get her to quiet down. … She put her hands on me, and that’s how I reacted, by putting my hands on her.
- I’m not a violent person. I drove a school bus, I was a musician, 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.
- My daughter, she just made every day for me after she was born. She never saw any violence going on in that house. … She’d probably say ‘My dad is the best dad in the world.’
- I’m a normal person, I’m just sick. I have an addiction, just like an alcoholic has an addiction. Alcoholics cannot control their addiction.
- Most of the sex that went on in the house and probably all of it was consensual. These allegations about being forceful on them, it’s totally wrong. There were times they would ask me for sex.
- I did not prey on these women, I just acted on my sexual instincts because of my addiction. … God as my witness, I never beat these women. I never tortured them.
- We had a lot of harmony going on in that home and if you’ve seen the YouTube video of Amanda this weekend, that proves that girl did not go through no torture. … If that was true, do you think she would be out partying already and having fun? … All the victims are happy.
- Michelle, since day one, no one missed her. I never saw fliers about her.
- I just hope that [the victims] find it in their hearts to forgive me and to maybe do some research for people who have addictions so they can see how that addiction takes over their lives.
Castro also insisted that he’s a good person. The judge said he doesn’t see possibility for rehabilitation.
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