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"I would like to apologize to the victims": Ariel Castro

Thursday, August 01, 2013 - 01:47

Aug. 1 - Ariel Castro apologizes to his victims during sentencing hearing. Rough Cut. (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT -- NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: Ariel Castro, age 53, apologized to his victims at the beginning of his sentencing hearing Thursday in Cleveland. "I would like to apologize to the victims," the shackled Castro told the judge. In a report released on Wednesday prior to the hearing, prosecutors said although Castro admitted to some of the offenses, but had never expressed remorse. Last week, he pleaded guilty to 937 criminal charges including kidnapping and rape of the women, kidnapping of a 6-year-old girl he fathered in captivity with one of the women, and murder for forcing another one of the women to abort during a pregnancy. Testifying at the hearing, the responding police officer to Castro's house told the court, "I did ask if anyone else had ever been pregnant, and Michelle said, 'Oh, I was,' and she said 'I was several times, and every time he found out I was pregnant, he'd starve me and he'd punch me in the stomach.'" Under the plea deal, Castro is expected to serve life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 1,000 years. He agreed to the deal in return for prosecutors sparing him the possibility of the death penalty. Amanda Berry, 27, Gina DeJesus, 23 and Michelle Knight, 32, all went missing from the west side of Cleveland between 2002 and 2004 and were discovered in May after neighbors heard cries for help from Berry coming from Castro's home. The women have said little in public since they were freed, releasing one short video expressing gratitude for the support they have received and asking for privacy. Berry appeared at a concert in Cleveland on Saturday and waved to the crowd. The women led a grim life of constant mental and physical assault and isolation after they were abducted, the report said. They were kept apart from each other, were often chained or restrained, received only one meal a day, one or two showers a week and had to use small plastic toilets that were not often emptied. The three survivors told investigators Castro controlled every aspect of their lives including using the cold basement and hot attic, and sexual abuse as punishment, and threatening them with a gun.

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"I would like to apologize to the victims": Ariel Castro

Thursday, August 01, 2013 - 01:47