Ariel Castro spoke at his own sentencing hearing, and was alternately repentant and forgiving of himself. Castro, who plead guilty to hundreds of counts of rape and kidnapping charges, apologized multiple times to his victims and to his family, at times breaking into tears. At the same time, Castro maintained that he is simply the victim of sex addiction, and that he never tortured any of the girls he kidnapped, Michelle Knight, Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry.
“If God is my witness, I never beat these women, I never tortured them,” Castro declared from his chair at the sentencing hearing. On that point, the Judge stated, in stoic terms that by Castro’s own guilty plea of rape and kidnapping, he did commit acts of violence.
“It makes it sound like I forced myself on them,” said Castro, seemingly claiming that the girls he held captive in his Cleveland home, raping them repeatedly over a full decade, were there consensually.
“I want everyone to know that there was harmony at home,” Castro claimed.
“I’m not sure there is anyone in America who would agree with you,” said the judge.
At other points in his sentencing hearing statement, Castro showed that he knew he had done something horrible.
“I apologize to you your honor for even bringing this case into your court. Thank you everyone and I’m sorry for everything. I know that true judgment day is when god comes and judges me.
“To this day I’m trying to answer my own questions, I don’t know. I had a job, I had a life, I had musical talent. I had everything going on for me. I don’t know why.”
Ariel Castro is going to spend the rest of his life in prison, and he seems to know that he deserves it. While one part of him tries to save his own name, another part, seems to be looking back and wondering how he turned into such a monster.