Posted: Aug 1, 2013 12:18 PM by NBC News
Updated: Aug 1, 2013 12:41 PM
(NBC News) Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro was sentenced to life in prison without parole on two counts of aggravated murder plus 1,000 years on Thursday after a sentencing hearing filled with sordid details of his crimes - and tremendous perseverance and hope as victim Michelle Knight faced down her captor in court.
"I cried every night, I was so alone," Knight said. "Years turned into an eternity."
"I spent 11 years in hell, where your hell is just beginning," she said to Castro, with her back turned to him at the defense table. "You deserve to spend life in prison."
"After 11 years, I am finally being heard, and it is liberating," Knight said.
Handcuffed and in an orange prison jumpsuit, a bearded Castro appeared to smile as he entered the courtroom where he came face to face with the terror he inflicted on the three women. Castro, who imprisoned them for a decade in his Cleveland home, seemed to laugh as the court took a brief recess around noon.
After Knight spoke and others gave statements for her fellow captives Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, Castro delivered a long, rambling statement.
"These people are trying to paint me as a monster. I'm not a monster, I'm sick," Castro said. He described himself as addicted to masturbation and pornography, and claimed that he was "a victim of sex acts" when he was a child.
Of his young daughter who was born in captivity, Castro said: "She'll probably say, ‘My daddy is the best daddy in the world.' Because that's how I tried to raise her in those six years. So she wouldn't be traumatized or anything like that."
Cleveland kidnapping victim Michelle Knight delivers an emotional statement to the courtroom, telling Ariel Castro, "I spent eleven years in hell. Now your hell is just beginning."
"I am not a violent person. I simply kept them there without them being able to leave," Castro said.
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