Ariel Castro, the kidnapper who held Michelle Knight, Gina DeJesus, and Amanda Berry hostage for years in his home, was finally sentenced today.
He had pled guilty to over 900 charges, and was sentenced on many of them to consecutive 8-10 year terms.
Sickeningly, he impregnated the women more than once; in one case, after Knight became pregnant, Castro starved and beat her until she miscarried. As a result, he was charged with aggravated murder, another charge to which he pled guilty. [Of course, he claims he was not guilty, but just did it, effectively, "thinking of the victims."] In his statement, he said, rather disingenuously, "I am not a violent person. I simply kept them there without them being able to leave." [Because, apparently, rape is not a "violent" crime.]
Judge Michael Russo, in handing down the sentence, noted that Castro's vision of what he did was vastly at odds with the evidence: "In your mind, there was harmony and a happy household. I'm not sure there's anyone else in America who would agree with you."
The good news is that, in agreeing to avoid a trial where he would be eligible for the death penalty (for aggravated murder), Castro's sentence is very harsh:
* He has been sentenced to life without parole, plus 1,000 years to be served consecutively. As a practical matter, he will die in prison.
* He has waived his right to appeal his sentence.
* He has agreed to forfeit his home (which will be demolished).
* He has agreed that he will not be able to profit from his crime in any way (e.g., no money from tell-all books, interviews, or anything else).
It is telling that even his own son has said he does not plan to visit his father in prison.
I can't blame him.