The Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro was back in court today for his sentencing hearing after he recently reached a plea deal last week.
Judge Michael Russo read a total of 937 charges, including those of rape, kidnapping, assault, and aggravated murder in a long and emotional morning in which Ariel apologized for his heinous crimes.
"You took 11 years of my life away…. I spent 11 years in hell. Now, your hell is just beginning…. I can forgive you, but I will never forget."
Despite his apology and his guilty plea, Ariel argued against accusations that he beat his victims, saying:
"I'm not a monster. I'm just sick. I have an addiction. Just like an alcoholic has an addiction."
The judge felt that Ariel was trying to portray himself as a victim and said his failure to take responsibility for his actions proved that he was too dangerous to be released to the public anytime in the future.
Judge Michael Russo ended up agreeing to the terms of the plea deal, sentencing Ariel to life in prison plus 1,000 years with no chance of parole, as well as a $100,000 fine. He also implemented a no-contact order to prevent Ariel from trying to get in touch with any of the victims or file for parental rights.
Hopefully this is the final chapter in a truly horrific story and all of the victims will be able to proceed with their lives.
[Image via Tony DejakAP Images.]