Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro admitted at his sentencing Thursday that he was addicted to porn and "sick" but said he is not a monster. [videoembed id=195394]
In a rambling statement, Castro addressed the court, saying he knew what he did was wrong, but that the house where he held three young women against their will for more than a decade had "harmony."
He spoke about the accusations of domestic abuse by his ex-wife, saying, “I couldn’t get her to quiet down.”
Castro then went on to take the court, in disturbing detail, through the time period of his life before abducting the three young women.
“I was single for about five years. In that time, I continued to practice the art of masturbation ... sometimes two to three hours a day nonstop,” he said.
He added, “I know it’s 100 percent wrong, but they are trying to say that I am a violent person. I’m not a violent person. … I am a moral person. I am just sick.”
He spoke about each victim and their families, saying about Michelle Knight, “I haven’t seen her much ... because from day one, nobody missed her.”
Knight addressed the court before Castro's statement, telling her captor, "My hell is over. Your hell is just beginning."
As he went on, Castro said most of the sex he had with his victims was consensual: “Practically all of it was consensual. These girls were not virgins. They had multiple partners before me — all three of them.”
He said he was a good and loving father to the daughter he fathered with Amanda Berry while she was in captivity.
“She would probably say, ‘My dad is the best dad in the world,’” Castro said of his daughter. “She had a normal life.”
“Finally, I would like to apologize to the victims. I am truly sorry for what happened. To this day I am trying to answer my own questions, because we had a lot of harmony in that house,” he said, choking back tears. “I had everything going on for me. I have a good history of working and providing. … I just hope they find it in their hearts to forgive me.”
Castro was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 1,000 years, for the kidnappings and rapes of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight.