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Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro says he’s addicted to porn and sex, asks for forgiveness

‘I’m not the violent predator. I am a normal person. I am just sick.’


 

Tony Dejak/AP

The man who pleaded guilty to kidnapping three women, raping them and holding them in his Cleveland home for a decade spoke in court Thursday, asking his victims for forgiveness.

Speaking at his sentencing hearing, Ariel Castro told a Cleveland, Ohio courtroom that he did not plan to kidnap the three women, but that he was “acting on instinct” due to an addiction to sex, pornography and masturbation.

“I’m not the violent predator,” Castro told the court. “I am a normal person. I am just sick. I have an addiction, like an alcoholic has an addiction.”

Castro pleaded guilty to 937 charges, including aggravated murder, rape and kidnapping, with the murder charges relating to the unlawful termination of a pregnancy. The guilty plea helped Castro avoid the death penalty.

Three women who had been missing for between nine and 11 years — Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus — were released from Castro’s home after Berry alerted a neighbour in May.

Castro said that he didn’t plan to kidnap his first victim, Michelle Knight, but simply overheard her talking about needing a ride somewhere.

“When I got up that day, I did not get up and say ‘I’m going to try and find some women,’” he said.

Castro also had a history of abusing his former wife, but charges were never brought to court. Castro said that he didn’t have a criminal record until he met his wife, who has since died.

“I’m a happy person inside,” Castro said. “I drove a school bus for 21 years. I did a very good job. To the end, I started slacking off because I wanted to get fired. This situation was just too stressful.”

In a statement that was, at times, rambling and repetitive, Castro also said that he loved the daughter he fathered with Berry while she was in his captivity. He said that he didn’t let his daughter see the abuse that was going on in the home and that he took her out to church. He chided authorities for not asking his daughter about what kind of person he is.

“She’ll say, ‘my daddy is the best dad in the world,’” Castro said of his daughter.

Near the end of his statement, Castro asked for forgiveness from his victims. Of the three women, only Knight was in court.

“Finally, I would like to apologize for the victims. To Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. I am truly sorry for what happened. To this day, I am trying to answer my own questions. I don’t know…,” Castro said, his voice breaking.

He went on to claim, in many cases, the sex he had with his victims was consensual.

“I am not a monster. I did not prey on these women. I just acted on my instincts because of my sexual addiction,” he said.

At one point while he was asking for forgiveness, Castro turned towards the public gallery where Knight, who is now 32, sat.

Before beginning his sentencing, the judge addressed Knight. “Ms. Knight, thank you for your remarkable restraint during that statement,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Knight addressed the court, saying that she missed her son while she was in captivity. “I cried every night. I was so alone. I worried what would happen to me and the other girls every day,” she said.

Though tears, Knight spoke about missing out on 11 years of her life. “You took 11 years of my life away. … I spent 11 years in hell. Now, your hell is just beginning.”

Castro’s sentencing hearing lasted for nearly five hours. He faces life plus 1,000 years with no chance of parole.


 

Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro says he’s addicted to porn and sex, asks for forgiveness

  1. Oh really Castro? Then let’s put you into the same cell as Big Louie, a lifer who likes to indulge in a little rough sex before beddy bye each night.

  2. They shoot sick horses don’t they?

  3. Aren’t the vast majority these days addicted to porn? So does this mean the innocent among us are at risk?

  4. Ohio is one state that prohibits masturbation for prison inmates. I guess that means his addition will be cured.

    • I guess that means his “addiction” will be cured. 1000 years with no masturbation.

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