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Ohio Kidnapper Ariel Castro Says Porn Addiction 'Took a Toll on My Mind'

  • (Photo: Reuters/John Gress)
    Ariel Castro appears in court for his initial appearance in Cleveland, Ohio, May 9, 2013. Castro, 52, a veteran school bus driver fired from his job last fall, was formally charged with kidnapping and raping the three women, who were rescued from his house on May 6.
July 27, 2013|2:50 pm

Ariel Castro, charged with the abduction of three women whom he held as sex slaves for over a decade in Ohio, agreed on Friday to a plea bargain to avoid the death penalty, and told the court his addiction to pornography and "sex problems" had taken a toll on his mind.

"My addiction to pornography and my sexual problem has really taken a toll on my mind," Castro told the judge when asked how good his English is and if he could understand what it means for him to plead guilty to 937 counts in a deal to avoid the death penalty.

Prosecutors have asked Castro to be sentenced to life without parole in addition to at least 1,000 years.

Castro, a 53 year-old man from Cleveland, Ohio, had trouble with comprehension. He also told Judge Michael J. Russo he himself had been a sexual abuse victim, according to The Associated Press. "I would like to state I was a victim as a child and it just kept going."

After two and a half hours of the hearing, the judge accepted the pleas and declared Castro guilty. The sentencing has been scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 1.

The three victims, identified by the media as Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, said they were relieved by the plea as they will not be required to testify in court. "They are satisfied by this resolution to the case, and are looking forward to having these legal proceedings draw to a final close in the near future," their law firm, Jones Day, said in a statement. "They do not wish to speak to the media or anyone else, and they thank people for continuing to respect their privacy as they grow stronger."

Castro, who pleaded not guilty in an earlier hearing, was arrested on May 6, after one of the victims, Berry, managed to flee to the front door of the four-bedroom home and shout for help. DeJesus and Knight were also rescued by police.

The three women were abducted separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old.

To restrain the women, Castro, a former school bus driver, would tie them to a pole, a bedroom heater or inside a van, according to the charges.

After being raped, Berry gave birth to a girl in 2006, according to authorities. Knight had miscarriages five times due to starvation and repeated beatings.

The plea deal reached Friday involves demolition of the house where the victims were held.

Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/ohio-kidnapper-ariel-castro-says-porn-addiction-took-a-toll-on-my-mind-101006/