Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro will spend the rest of his life in prison.
The man accused of kidnapping three young women and raping them for a decade pleaded guilty to the over 900 charges leveled against him Friday. He will serve life plus 1,000 years without the possibility of parole, sparing the city of Cleveland from an agonizing trial.
“I knew I was going to get pretty much the book thrown at me,” Castro told the judge of his choice to accept the prosecution’s plea deal.
He was then asked if he had given up hope of leaving prison before he dies. He responded, “I don’t think there’s any reason.”
The judge also made sure that Castro understood the plea, which would classify him as a sexually violent predator. “The violent part I don’t agree with, but yes,” he answered.
The 53-year-old Cleveland resident abducted three women between 2002 and 2004, and held them in his home for over a decade. He raped and impregnated them, intentionally causing at least one to miscarry and fathering a now 6-year-old daughter with captive Amanda Berry.
The plea deal also requires that he surrender his house of horrors, which the county plans to tear down. Castro will be formally sentenced at a later date, and his three victims will get a chance to address him one last time before he goes to prison.
Lawyers for all three of Castro’s victims had hoped to avoid a trial by getting him to accept the plea deal.
The three women finally broke their silence in a three-minute video posted to YouTube on July 9. Victim Michelle Knight said: “I may have been through hell and back, but I am strong enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face, and my head held high, and my feet firmly on the ground.”
What do you think of Ariel Castro? Is the plea deal too good for him?