This afternoon, accused Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro was sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping and holding three women hostage in his home for nearly a decade. Last week, Castro accepted a plea deal that allowed him to avoid the death penalty; he initially pleaded not guilty to a 977-count indictment for rape, gross sexual conduct, child endangerment and aggravated murder. As part of the deal, Castro pleaded guilty to 937 of the counts.

During the four and a half hour hearing, Castro, 53, blamed his despicable actions on an addiction to pornography and abuse suffered as a child. Michelle Knight, who he held in captivity the longest, was present in court to testify. "I spent 11 years in hell, now your hell is just beginning," she told Castro. 

According to Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGintyCastro "remains remorseless for his actions." Last week, Judge Michael J. Russo told Castro that he will be listed as a sex offender and that the home where he held Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus captive will be demolished.

[via The Huffington Post]