August 1, 2013

Excerpts from Ohio kidnapper's sentencing

The Associated Press

Excerpts of testimony at Thursday's sentencing of convicted Cleveland kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro:

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Ariel Castro, center, listens in the courtroom during the sentencing phase Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, in Cleveland. Defense attorney's Craig Weintraub, left, and Jaye Schlachet sit beside Castro. Three months after an Ohio woman kicked out part of a door to end nearly a decade of captivity, Castro, a onetime school bus driver faces sentencing for kidnapping three women and subjecting them to years of sexual and physical abuse. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

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EXCERPTS FROM CASTRO'S TESTIMONY:

People are trying to paint me as a monster, and I'm not a monster. I'm sick. My sexual problems been so bad on my mind, I'm impulsive. ... I believe I am addicted to porn, to the point that it really makes me impulsive.

...

When I picked up the first victim, I hadn't even planned it that day. ... That day I went to Family Dollar, and I heard her, over saying something about she needed to get somewhere and I reacted on that. But when I got up that day, I did not say, "Oh, I'm going to get up and try to find some women." It wasn't my character. But I know it's wrong. I'm not trying to make excuses here. I know I'm 100 percent wrong for doing that."

...

I am not a violent person. I know what I did is wrong, but I'm not a violent person. I simply kept them here without being able to leave.

...

I'm not a monster. I'm a normal person. I am just sick. I have an addiction. Just like an alcoholic has an addiction. Alcoholics cannot control their addiction. That's why I couldn't control my addiction.

...

I would like to apologize to the victims, Amanda Berry, and Gina Dejesus and Michelle Knight. ... I am truly sorry for what happened. ... I just hope that they can find it in their hearts to forgive me.

...

I ask God to forgive me, I ask my family and I apologize to my family also for putting them through all this. I want to apologize to the state of Ohio, the city of Cleveland. ... I just want to apologize to everyone who was touched by these events.

...

I do also want to mention that there was harmony in that home. There was harmony in that home. I was a good person. Being brought up, I never had a record. I just hope that they find it in their hearts to forgive me, and to maybe do some research on people who have addictions so they can see how their addiction takes over their lives.

MICHELLE KNIGHT'S COMPLETE STATEMENT

My name is Michelle Knight, and I would like to tell you what 11 years was like for me.

I missed my son every day. I wondered if I would ever see you again. He was only 2 1/2 years old when I was tooken. I look inside my heart and I see my son.

I cried every night. I was so alone. I worried about what would happen to me and the other girls every day.

Days never got shorter. Days turned into nights. Nights turned into days. The years turned into eternity.

I knew nobody cared about me. He told me that my family didn't care. He tormented me, constantly, even on holidays.

Christmas was the most traumatic day because I never got to spend it with my son.

Nobody should ever have to go through what I went through or anybody else, not even the worstest enemy.

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. My friendship with her is the only thing that was good out of this situation. We said we would someday make it out alive, and we did.

(Continued on page 2)

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