Ariel Castro, the man convicted of holding three women captive in his Cleveland house over a decade has been sentenced to life in prison without parole, plus 1 thousand years.
Judge Michael Russo said Castro robbed his three victims of a normal life.
MR: For more than 10 years you have preyed upon three young women. You subjected them to harsh and violent conduct. You felt you were dominating them, but you were incorrect. You cannot take away their dignity.... There is no place in this city, there is no place in this country, indeed, there is no place in this world for those who enslave others, those who sexually assault others, and those who brutalize others.
Castro pleaded guilty last week to 937 counts related to the abduction and imprisonment of three women in his home for nearly a decade. The life sentence was imposed on aggravated murder for a forced miscarriage by one of his victims. In sometimes rambling comments, Castro denied the murder charge he had already pleaded guilty to, and downplayed the severity of his actions.
AC: Most of the sex that went on in that house, practical all of it, was consensual. This.. this.. these allegations about being forceful on them, that is totally wrong. I am not a violent person. I know what I did was wrong, but I am not a violent person.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty says the life sentence handed down against Castro case makes it "a great day." McGinty praised Cleveland police and the FBI for their work on the case. And he expressed his admiration for the women Castro held captive.
TM: We should all be -- and we all are -- proud of Michelle, Amanda and Gina. They are the heroes; they are the survivors.
Michelle Knight addressed Castro for the first time in court. She told him that while her hell was now over, his was just beginning. And she said that she would no longer let Castro affect or define her. Representatives for the two other women delievered similar statements on their behalf.