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Ariel Castro: 'I'm not a monster I am a victim of porn'

Ariel Castro has spoken to the court ahead of his sentencing for 937 charges related to the kidnap of three women for over a decade in his home.

Castro told the court:

Ariel Castro speaking to the court.

"I stated before that I was a victim of sex when I was a child. This led me into viewing pornography for my whole life...These people are trying to paint me as a monster and I'm not a monster, I'm sick. My sexual problems have been so bad on my mind, I'm impulsive."

"I believe I am a victim to porn."


Victim tells Castro: 'You will face hell for eternity'

Michelle Knight was the only one of Ariel Castro's victims to speak herself in court, she said: "Days never got shorter, days turned in to nights, nights turned in to days. The years turned in to eternity.

"Nobody should ever have to go through what I went through.

Michelle Knight speaking in court.

Through tears she told Castro: "I spent 11 years in hell, now your hell is just beginning. I will overcome all this that happened, but you will face hell for eternity."

Castro victim hugs prosecution team in court ahead of sentence

One of Ariel Castro victim's was seen in court seen embracing a member of the prosecution team ahead of his sentencing.

Michelle Knight was held captive for 11 years by the former school bus driver, who abducted and sexually abused her.

Castro was sitting at the front of the courtroom when Knight arrived. Ms Knight is expected to give a victim statement in court shortly. Castro is expected to be sentenced to life in prison.

Ariel Castro enters courtroom ahead of sentencing

Ariel Castro has entered the courtroom in the US state of Ohio where he is due to be sentenced for 937 charges including rape and aggravated murder.

Dressed in orange prison garb and ankle chains, Catro has mainly been giving one-word answers to the judge's questions.

Ariel Castro is led into the courtroom by police Credit: Reuters


Cleveland kidnap victim's handwritten letter to police

One of the women who was imprisoned for years in the Cleveland home of Ariel Castro has written to local police officers thanking them for their work.

NBC News displayed a copy of the letter from Michelle Knight in which she writes that "life is tough, but I'm tougher".

An excerpt of the letter from Michelle Knight to Cleveland Police Credit: Cleveland Police

Cleveland police posted the handwritten note on their Facebook page, but it has since been removed.

Cleveland kidnap victims 'kept diaries detailing abuse'

Two of the Cleveland kidnap victims detailed years of incarceration and abuse in personal diaries, a prosecutor has revealed.

In a sentencing memo file submitted last night, prosecutor Timothy McGinty said the diaries speak of "forced sexual conduct, of being locked in a dark room ... [and] of the dreams of someday escaping and being reunited with family".

Amanda Berry (L) and Gina DeJesus reportedly kept diaries during their decade of imprisonment

Ariel Castro, who has pleaded guilty to 937 charges including rape and aggravated murder, is due to be sentence later today.

Read: Ariel Castro escapes death penalty but is jailed for life

Ohio 'kidnapper' Ariel Castro 'faces 977 charges'

Ariel Castro has already pleaded not guilty to more than 300 charges Credit: DPA/Press Association Images

The Ohio prosecutor has announced a 977-count indictment against a man charged with holding three women captive and abusing them in his home in Cleveland, Ohio, for around a decade, according to the Reuters news agency.

Ariel Castro had already pleaded not guilty to a 329 count indictment that includes multiple charges of kidnap and rape.

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