Ariel Castro had a rambling appearance in an Ohio courtroom Thursday (Aug. 1), where he denied being a "monster" and claimed to have a sex addiction. Castro previously struck a deal to evade the death penalty and pleaded his case in front of a judge and one of his victims, Michelle Knight, who also addressed the court.
Having already admitted guilt to 932 charges -- including rape and aggravated murder --Castro said the environment inside his home was nothing short of "harmony." He shunned reports of torture, abuse, and rape. "I'm not a monster. I'm just sick. I have an addiction, just like an alcoholic has an addiction," Castor said. "God as my witness, I never beat these women like they're trying to say that I did. I never tortured them.
"I'm truly sorry for what happened."
Knight, who spoke ahead of her capture, painted a much different picture than the harmonious existence the defendant touted in court. "I cried every night I was alone," she said of the 11 years she was held captive. The now 32-year-old was repeatedly abused by Castro, most notably when he got her pregnant five separate times. She was punched in the stomach until she miscarried.
For Knight, the "most traumatic" day in the house was Christmas. "Nobody should have to go through what I went through."
Castro told all three women (Knight, Gina DeJesus, and Amanda Berry) that their families had moved on. Knight thought she would never see her son again, who was an infant at the time.
As has been reported, the women forged a close bond. In her statement Knight called her relationship with DeJesus the "only thing" good to come out of the ordeal. "We said we would make it our alive and we did.”
DeJesus was a friend of Castro's daughter who had no idea she was being held in the house. The women were rescued after neighbor Charles Ramsey found Berry trying to kick her way to freedom, and called authorities.
Judge Michael Russo spared no feelings when addressing Castro, calling him a "narcissist" and a "predator," and vastly disputing his assertion of being a good person. "You don't deserve to be out in our community," Russo said. "You're too dangerous."
Russo sentenced the 53-year-old to life in prison, plus 1,000 years.