Standing before the man who enslaved and raped her for a decade, Michelle Knight described how the world had changed in the three months since they last saw each other: The captive, she said, was now free and the oppressor would be locked away forever to “die a little every day.”
Ariel Castro’s fate had been determined long before he was sentenced Thursday to life in prison plus 1,000 years. But Knight’s words in a crowded courtroom put a final seal on the kidnapping case that horrified the nation and subjected three young women to years of torment in Castro’s ramshackle house.
“You took 11 years of my life away and I have got it back,” Knight said. “I spent 11 years in hell. Now your hell is just beginning.”
A short time later, the 53-year-old former school bus driver apologized to his victims briefly in a rambling, defiant statement. He repeatedly blamed his sex addiction, his former wife and others while claiming most of the sex was consensual and that the women were never tortured.