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Ariel Castro Sentenced: Cleveland Kidnapper Will Serve Life In Prison

01/08/2013 18:55 BST | Updated 02/08/2013 07:46 BST

Ariel Castro was handed a sentence Thursday that will imprison him for the rest of his life as punishment for the abduction and nearly decade-long torture of three Ohio women.

Castro, who pleaded guilty to 937 counts including kidnapping, rape and murder, appeared in Cuyahoga County for the approximately four and a half hour hearing.

Standing in a orange jumpsuit, Castro shocked the packed courtroom by stating that there was "a lot of harmony" in house where he trapped and abused Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. The 53-year-old blamed his behavior on the violence he suffered as a child and his addiction to porn.

Michelle Knight, the only one of Castro's victims who testified on her own behalf, told the court that she is "finally being heard."

"Ariel Castro, I remember all the times that you came home talking about what everyone else did wrong, acting like you didn't do the same thing," she said.

ariel castro

"I spent 11 years in hell, now your hell is just beginning," Knight added. "What does god think of you going to church every Sunday and coming home to torture us?"

A plea deal reached last week spared Castro of facing the death penalty for abusing and starving a pregnant victim until she miscarried.

In a sentencing memorandum filed Wednesday, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty said that while Castro "admits his disgusting and inhuman conduct," he still "remains remorseless for his actions."

Inside The Home Of Ariel Castro