Cleveland Kidnapper Asks To Apologize For Decade Of Rape, Abuse
Ariel Castro, the man who admitted to abducting three women and subjecting them to years of sexual and emotional abuse in his Cleveland home, asked to apologize to his victims during a sentencing hearing Thursday. Under the terms of a plea deal, Castro will receive life in prison plus 1,000 years.
"I want to apologize to the victims," Castro, 53, said when given a chance to speak.
Judge Michael Russo of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court replied that he could do so then or wait until the end of the day. Castro — handcuffed, chained at the feet and wearing an orange prison jumpsuit — responded that he would wait to elaborate.
With the sentence essentially a foregone conclusion, the defense and prosecution sparred over how many of the lurid details of the rape and abuse of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight would be rehashed in court.
Attorneys for the state sought to pile on evidence to back the 977-count indictment against Castro — using photos and even a model of the defendant's house — in an effort to make the case appeal-proof. Castro pleaded guilty to 937 counts, including kidnapping, rape and aggravated murder.
The defense objected to the prosecution's display. Attorney Craig Weintraub, acknowledged that much of Castro's crime was "incomprehensible" but said it was more important to "protect the dignity and privacy of these three women."
The judge said he would allow only what was "necessary under the law to make a proper sentencing."
In other testimony: