CASTRO’S HELL ‘JUST BEGINNING’, A VICTIM PROMISES – Saturday August 3 2013

– One of the three women held captive and brutalised by Ariel Castro in his Cleveland home declared to a spellbound courtroom that she would overcome all that has happened to her.
“I spent 11 years in hell,” Michelle Knight told Castro at a hearing where he was sentenced to life without parole plus 1000 years in prison. “Now, your hell is just beginning.”
Cadres described himself as a sick person struggling with a sexual addiction, but insisted he was not abusive by nature.
“I know what I did was wrong, but I am not a violent person,” said the former school bus driver and musician, who pleaded guilty to 937 felony counts including rape, assault and kidnapping.
Of his three captives, who were repeatedly bound, beaten and raped over the course of a decade and were repeatedly deprived of food as well as their freedom, Castro said: “I simply kept them there without them being able to leave.”
Castro lured each of his victims to his home by offering them rides and then lying to them about what was inside his residence, a police detective testified at the sentencing hearing. He offered Ms Knight a puppy, told Amanda Berry that she could visit his daughter, whom Berry knew, and asked Gina DeJesus for help moving a stereo speaker.
Each of the women told police that they trusted Castro, in part because they knew at least one of his teenage or young adult children.
Within minutes of getting each girl inside the house, Detective Andrew Harasimchuk said, Castro tied them up and raped them. It was an immediate and horrific beginning to a decade of physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
During her captivity, Ms Berry became pregnant by Castro and gave birth to a child, now six years old. Ms Knight has told authorities that Castro impregnated her multiple times as well, and then starved, beat and mistreated her until she miscarried.
“You took 11 years of my life away, and I have got it back,” said Ms Knight, the only one of the three victims to testify in court. “I will live on; you will die a little every day.”
As part of his plea deal, Castro, 53, received a sentence of life with no chance of parole for aggravated murder on a charge of forced miscarriage. He also received 1000 years for kidnap, rape, assault and other charges.
He was ordered to have no contact with his victims, including his six-year-old daughter.
Both Ms Berry and Ms DeJesus were represented in court by relatives, who made statements on their behalf.
Sylvia Colon, a cousin of Ms DeJesus, said her family was eager to close this horrific chapter of their lives. “Our beloved family member thrives,” Ms Colon said. “She laughs, she swims, she dances…she will finish school, go to college, fall in love and get married.”
Ms Colon then turned towards Castro, who wore a prison jumpsuit and was seated at the defence table, and addressed him in Spanish. According to translations posted on Twitter, she said: “God have mercy on your soul.”
Beth Serrano, Ms Berry’s sister, said she “is strong and beautiful inside and out, and she is do jog better every day”.
Ms Serrano spoke tearfully about her family’s desire not to revisit the captivity in public and to keep details of the ordeal private, so that Ms Berry could explain it to her young daughter in her own way, when it was right. “Amanda did not control anything for a long time. Can we just let her have control over this, so she can protect her daughter?” Ms Serrano said. “She will do anything to protect her daughter.” – Debbi Wilgoren

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About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
This entry was posted in Abduction and Kidnapping, Assault, Homicide, Rape and Sexual Assault, Serious Assault & Recklessly Causing Serious Injury and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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