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Ariel Castro told the judge he was addicted to pornography, had a "sexual problem" and had been a sexual abuse victim himself long ago. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors recommended Castro be sentenced to life without parole plus 1, years.
Castro, 53, said he understood that he would never get out of prison, saying he expected he was "going to get the book thrown at me. Castro, wearing glasses for the first time in court, was far more interactive than in court appearances when he mostly kept his head down and eyes closed. He answered the judge's questions in a clear, intelligible voice, saying he understood the proceedings and that he would never be released from prison. Castro, who was born in Puerto Rico, said he could read and understand English well but had trouble with comprehension.
Sentencing was set for Thursday. The deal comes more than a month after a statement issued on behalf of the women said they were "hopeful for a just and prompt resolution" and had "great faith in the prosecutor's office and the court.
Castro had been scheduled for trial Aug. The indictment included two counts of aggravated murder related to accusations that he punched and starved one woman until she miscarried. The former school bus driver also was charged with hundreds of counts of kidnapping and rape, plus assault and other counts. He was accused of repeatedly restraining the women, sometimes chaining them to a pole in a basement, to a bedroom heater or inside a van.
The charges alleged Castro assaulted one woman with a vacuum cord around her neck when she tried to escape.
The sticking point on a plea deal had been whether the prosecutor would rule out the death penalty. Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Blaise Thomas said he wants to make sure Castro will never see the girl he fathered with one of his victims.
McGinty said the plan is to also tear down two abandoned houses next door and acquire a vacant lot for a park. He feels sorry for one person and one person only - himself.
The three women disappeared separately between andwhen they were 14, 16 and 20 years old. Each said they had accepted a ride from Castro, who remained friends with the family of one of the women and even attended vigils over the years marking her disappearance. The women escaped Castro's house May 6 when one of them kicked out part of a door and called to neighbors for help. Castro was arrested within hours and has remained behind bars. News that Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus and Michelle Knight had been found alive electrified the Cleveland area, where two of them were household names after years of searches, publicity and vigils.
But elation soon turned to shock as allegations about their treatment began to emerge. Castro fathered a 6-year-old daughter with Berry, authorities said.
They allege that on the day the child was born, ChristmasCastro raped one of the other women, who had helped deliver the baby. Berry told authorities that she, her child and the other women never saw a doctor during their captivity. The Associated Press does not usually identify people who may be victims of sexual assault, but the names of the three women were widely circulated after they disappeared, and they appeared in an online video thanking the public for its support. The judge read their names in court Friday as the hearing was carried live on national cable news. In this Wednesday, July 17,file photo, Ariel Castro stands before a judge during his arraignment in Cleveland.
McGinty rejected attempts by Castro to portray himself a victim of a sex addiction. Knight said her five pregnancies ended after Castro starved and repeatedly punched her.
Since their rescue, the women have sought to stay out of sight and have appealed for privacy.Sex starved women in Chattanooga ohio
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Update: Ariel Castro ple guilty in Ohio kidnapping case