- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 1, 2013

Ariel Castro, the Ohio man who admitted to kidnapping and holding captive for nearly a decade three Cleveland-area women, said on Thursday during his sentencing hearing: I’m sorry. Please forgive me.

He turned in court and physically looked at the family members of his three victims, CNN reported.

“I am truly sorry. Thank you victims. Please find it in your heart to forgive me,” he said, at the very end of his statement.

Prior to his plea for forgiveness, he told those in the court that while he knew what he did was wrong, he was “not a monster” but rather someone suffering sickness.

“I’m just sick,” he said, CNN reported. “I have an addiction. Just like an alcoholic has an addiction.”

Castro pleaded guilty to more than 937 counts related to kidnapping, murder and rape. In return, prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty — and to instead request life in prison, plus 1,000 years.

At his sentencing, Castro also said: “I’m not a violent person. I simply kept them there so they couldn’t leave. … God as my witness, I never beat these women like they’re trying to say that I did. I never tortured them.”

He also said his crimes were fueled by sex — that he was “addicted to porn” — but that he was “a happy person inside” and wanted forgiveness.

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