Ariel Castro sentenced to life without parole in Cleveland kidnapping case

    1:06 PM, Aug 1, 2013   |    comments
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    UNDATED (CBS) -- Ariel Castro knows he will never again be a free man. Thursday a judge officially sentenced the Cleveland man to life in prison with no parole for kidnapping and torturing three young women and holding them captive for more than a decade.

    Last week, the former school bus driver pleaded guilty to 937 of 977 charges. Doing so keeps the death penalty off the table.

    New documents reveal Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina Dejesus were allowed to keep diaries detailing their decade of captivity.

    According to court documents, "The entries speak of forced sexual conduct, of being locked in a dark room, of anticipating the next session of abuse, of the dreams of someday escaping and being reunited with family..."

    The girls were chained up by their ankles, fed one meal a day, and showered once a week. As punishment, Castro would keep them in a cold basement or a sweltering attic.

    During statements from the victims, Michelle Knight told the court what her life was like. She spoke of missing her son and of her friendship with Gina DeJesus, which she said helped them both survive. She also spoke of Castro's cruelty, the hypocrisy of his regular church attendance, and said she spent 11 years in hell.

    Speaking to Castro, she said he will not define her any longer.

    An FBI agent says a letter written by Ariel Castro contained an attempt to explain his actions in the imprisonment of three women for about a decade.

    Special Agent Andrew Burke testified at Castro's sentencing Thursday in Cleveland. Burke says the note included Castro's comment saying, "I am a sexual predator."

    Burke also testified that Castro would occasionally pay his victims after raping them. But he then would require them to pay him if they wanted something special from the store.

    Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Detective Dave Jacobs says that in an interview, Castro said: "I knew what I did was wrong."

    Castro faces life in prison without parole plus one thousand years.

    The women were kidnapped between 2002 and 2004. They were 14, 16, and 20 at the time they were taken.

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