Ariel Castro: "I Was Also a Victim, Will Miss My Daughter"

Ariel Castro, the 53-year-old Cleveland former bus driver charged with kidnapping — and keeping in captivity — Amanda Berry, Georgina "Gina" DeJesus, Michelle Knight (and a 6-year-old daughter of Berry, fathered by him), agreed Friday to a plea deal that will avoid the death penalty as well as the need for his alleged victims to testify at a trial. 

The alleged victims were rescued, and Castro was arrested, on May 6, 2013. He was charged two days later with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape. He has since been indicted on 977 counts, including 512 counts of kidnapping, 446 counts of rape, and 2 counts of aggravated murder. 

Friday's plea deal recommends that Castro be sentenced to life in prison (plus at least 1,000 years) without parole. According to CNN, Judge Michael J. Russo told Castro he would be labeled as a "sexual predator," to which Castro responded that he understood. He added that he too had been "a victim as a child," and that he "missed his daughter."

Russo told Castro he could say whatever he wanted during a sentencing hearing. The judge also said the victims would be notified of the hearing, and would then have a chance to issue their official statements. Under the plea deal, the house where the women were confined will be demolished. 

Though the alleged victims haven't yet issued a statement after the plea deal, an attorney for the three women had told CNN that they were hoping for such deal, as they do not want to take the stand at a trial.

In early July, Berry, DeJesus and Knight released a YouTube video thanking those who have helped them since they were freed.


How much do you trust the information in this article?

MORE FROM

President Donald Trump turns Boy Scout Jamboree into campaign rally

The president discussed health care, Hillary Clinton, Obama, big yachts and more to 40,000 Boy Scouts and volunteers

This child kept HIV in remission for 8 years without drugs. Here’s what that really means.

More than eight years after his initial treatment, the child is still in remission.

Driver charged with human trafficking after 30-40 people found locked in fatally hot tractor-trailer

The charge against James Matthew Bradley, the alleged driver of the vehicle, could carry a punishment as severe as the death penalty.

Charlie Gard’s parents end legal fight to continue treatment for terminally ill son

The parents have withdrawn their request for Charlie to receive treatment in the U.S.

10th person dies after 38 found locked in sweltering tractor-trailer outside Texas Walmart

8 were found dead at the scene; 2 more died after being rushed to the hospital in critical or serious condition.

Dozens killed in deadly car bomb attack in Kabul

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.

President Donald Trump turns Boy Scout Jamboree into campaign rally

The president discussed health care, Hillary Clinton, Obama, big yachts and more to 40,000 Boy Scouts and volunteers

This child kept HIV in remission for 8 years without drugs. Here’s what that really means.

More than eight years after his initial treatment, the child is still in remission.

Driver charged with human trafficking after 30-40 people found locked in fatally hot tractor-trailer

The charge against James Matthew Bradley, the alleged driver of the vehicle, could carry a punishment as severe as the death penalty.

Charlie Gard’s parents end legal fight to continue treatment for terminally ill son

The parents have withdrawn their request for Charlie to receive treatment in the U.S.

10th person dies after 38 found locked in sweltering tractor-trailer outside Texas Walmart

8 were found dead at the scene; 2 more died after being rushed to the hospital in critical or serious condition.

Dozens killed in deadly car bomb attack in Kabul

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.