Ariel Castro sentenced to life without parole with an additional 1000 years to serve
Ohio kidnapper Ariel Castro was sentenced to life in prison without parole with an additional 1000 years to serve by the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on Thursday.
The 53-year-old former school bus driver who kidnapped and raped women for more than a decade pleaded guilty to 937 counts, including aggravated murder, kidnapping, rape and various assaults.
During yesterday’s sentencing the court was shown inside images for the first time of Castro’s house, 2207 Seymour Avenue. The gory pictures revealed that the doors in the house had no handles to block access from the inside, while the windows were boarded with heavy planks and the walls had children’s drawings pinned to them.
Furthermore, socks, duct tape and a motorcycle helmet were found in his basement which the kidnapper used to muffle the screams of his rape victims and a suicide note dated April 2nd 2004 written by Castro was found in which he claims to be mentally sick and described himself as “a sex addict”.
There was also found more than 45 kilograms of chains and locks in the house which Castro used to tie his victims and cash loaded in his washing machine that he would throw at the women after raping them.
In a 13 page sentencing memorandum, based upon diaries kept by his three captives, Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight, the three victims, described their sufferings living behind the closed doors.
During 11 years of captivity, Ms Knight became pregnant numerous and each time Castro terminated her pregnancy by starving her for days and forcing her to perform heavy exercise. When this did not work he punched, kicked and jumped on her stomach and kept the placenta in the refrigerator as a “memento”.
However, Ms Berry was “allowed” to carry a pregnancy to term and gave birth in a plastic child’s pool on Christmas day 2006.
During yesterday’s proceeding, the kidnapper, described himself as “a happy person inside” and publicly confessed his crime and sexual addiction.
He apologised “to everyone who was touched by these events” and later said: “I am not a monster, I am a normal person, I am just sick, and I do also want to let you know there was harmony in that home.”
At the sentencing hearing prosecutor Tim McGinty told the Cleveland court: “This man deserves as many years and as much punishment as this court can give him.”
Ohio authorities have said there are plans to demolish the house.