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Ariel Castro received a prison sentence of life plus an additional 1,000 years for kidnapping, torturing and imprisoning three young women in Cleveland, Ohio.
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Born on July 10, 1960, in Puerto Rico, Ariel Castro moved to Cleveland, Ohio, as a child. It was in Cleveland that he later abducted three young women: Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus. He kept the women captive in his house for years, where he tormented and raped them. Berry's escape on May 6, 2013, led to Castro's arrest. On August 1,
"I'm not a violent person. I simply kept them there without them being able to leave."
"These people are trying to paint me as a monster. I'm not a monster. I'm sick. My sexual problem, it's so bad on my mind."
"He's never coming out [of prison], except nailed in a box or in an ash can."
he was sent to prison for life plus 1,000 years. Castro was found hanged in his prison cell on September 3, 2013, in Orient, Ohio.
Criminal Ariel Castro was born in Puerto Rico on July 10, 1960. As a child, he moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where members of his extended family already lived. In 1992, Castro bought a house at 2207 Seymour Avenue. He initially lived there with his wife and four children. However, Castro was allegedly violent with his wife and she left him in 1996, taking custody of their children as well.
In 2002, Castro offered 20-year-old Michelle Knight a ride. Knight, who knew one of Castro's daughters, accepted. After Castro convinced Knight to come inside his house, he proceeded to rape her. Knight would be Castro's captive for the next 11 years. In 2003, Castro offered to drive Amanda Berry, then 16, home from her job at Burger King. Like Knight, Berry knew Castro's children, and got into his car. She was also kidnapped, assaulted and held captive. Castro repeated the same scenario in 2004 with 14-year-old Gina DeJesus, who was a close friend of his daughter Arlene.
Castro kept the women chained in his basement for years before moving them to barricaded rooms upstairs. Throughout their captivity, Castro restrained the women and subjected them to multiple sexual assaults. When Knight became pregnant, which happened several times, Castro starved and beat her until she miscarried. He allowed Berry's pregnancy to come to term, but forced her to give birth inside an inflatable swimming pool.
While holding the women captive in his home, Castro maintained a seemingly normal outside life. Family members still came to visit him, though he used locks to keep them from going into the basement and other parts of the house. He continued to work as a school bus driver—until he was fired in November 2012—and played bass guitar with local groups. Castro even attended vigils for DeJesus, where he met with anguished members of her family.
On May 6, 2013, Berry escaped from Castro's house. Police quickly freed the other women and arrested Castro that same day. In July 2013, Castro agreed to a plea deal that spared him from the death penalty. On July 26, he pleaded guilty to 937 charges, which included kidnapping, rape and murder (the murder charge stemmed from his role in ending one of Knight’s pregnancies). On August 1, 2013, Castro was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus an additional 1,000 years.
Since his arrest, Castro has shown little remorse for his crimes. While in custody, he asked to see Berry's child, a request the court denied.
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