Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Ten Most Memorable Quotes from Ariel Castro’s Sentencing Hearing

Ariel Castro at his sentencing hearing, Inset: Michele Knight

Ariel Castro at his sentencing hearing, Inset: Michele Knight

Last week Ariel Castro, 53, pleaded guilty to 937 charges, in connection with the abduction and decade-long involuntary imprisonment of Michele Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, in a plea deal to avoid the death penalty. Today, under the terms of the deal, Castro was sentenced to life imprisonment, plus 1,000 years, with no chance for parole and a $100,000 fine.

According to prosecutors, aside from raping his victims regularly, and beating a pregnant Michele Knight into 5 separate miscarriages causing permanent damage to her facial bones, he kept the women chained, forced them to play Russian roulette and threw money at them after raping them. Though he claimed to have taken the plea deal to avoid causing his victims any further psychological pain, he told prosecutors earlier that if he had the chance to do it all over again differently, he would not change a thing.

Below are the most memorable quotes from the emotionally-charged August 1, 2013, sentencing hearing.

Ariel Castro in his statement to the court:

  • “These people are trying to paint me as a monster and I’m not a monster. I’m sick,”
  • “Most of the sex that went on in that house was consensual. There was times that they would even ask me for sex. These girls were not virgins from their testimony to me. They had multiple partners before me — all three of them.
  • “I’m not a violent person. I simply kept them there so they couldn’t leave.”
  • “I’m a happy person inside.”
  • Of the daughter he sired with captive Amanda Berry, “I heard I can file for parental rights.”

Michele Knight in her victim’s impact statement to the court:

  • “I spent 11 years of hell. Now your hell is just beginning.”
  • “Gina was my teammate; she never let me fall, I never let her fall. She nursed me back to health when I was dying from his abuse.”
  • “I will live on. You will die a little every day.”

Judge Michael Russo

  • Of Castro’s seemingly normal relationship with his girlfriend, “you are able to choose who you wish to victimize.”
  • “There is no place in this city, there is no place in this country, there is no place in this world for those who enslave others.”

Neither Amanda Berry, nor Gina Dejesus appeared at Castro’s sentencing hearing.

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