News / USA

    Life Without Parole for Man in Cleveland Abductions, Rapes

    Life Without Parole for Man in Cleveland Abductions, Rapesi
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    August 02, 2013 1:52 AM
    A U.S. man who pleaded guilty to holding three young women captive in his Cleveland, Ohio house for a decade has been sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole. VOA's Carla Babb brings us a look inside the courtroom.
    The man who pleaded pleaded guilty to holding three young women captive in his Cleveland, Ohio, house for a decade has been sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole, for his crimes.

    Judge Michael Russo told Castro during his sentencing hearing Thursday that he could not have contact with any of the victims, including his daughter born to one of the women he kept locked in his home.

    Former school bus driver Ariel Castro apologized to the victims during his sentencing hearing, but denied violently assaulting them. He blamed his actions on his addiction to sex and pornography.

    "What I'm trying to get at is these people are trying to paint me as a monster, and I'm not a monster. I'm sick. My sexual problems have been so bad on my mind, and I'm impulsive," he said.

    One of the victims, 32-year-old Michelle Knight, entered the courtroom with her head held high in defiance. She told Castro he will "face hell for eternity."

    "I spent 11 years in hell. Now your hell is just beginning," said Knight.

    Before Thursday's sentencing, the 53-year-old Castro had agreed to spend the rest of his life in prison and pleaded guilty to 937 charges in exchange for prosecutors dropping the threat of a death sentence.

    Knight said Castro deserved life in prison because the death penalty would have been easier for him.  She said being heard after 11 years in captivity was "liberating."

    Relatives of the other two victims also spoke at the hearing.

    Castro abducted Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Knight, shackled them and repeatedly raped them until Berry escaped in early May.  Police then freed the other two.

    Berry bore a daughter by Castro during her captivity, and the girl is now six years old.

    Carla Babb

    Carla is VOA's Pentagon correspondent covering defense and international security issues. Her bylines include Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, Korea, Japan and Egypt.

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    by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
    August 01, 2013 11:01 PM
    What he has done is no doubt should be strictly blamed, but I think death sentense would not be possible from the beginning because he killed no one. I got to know there is life sentence without parole in US. I suppose probably there is no life sentence without parole or pardon in Japan.

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