Cleveland kidnapper pleads guilty

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July 27, 2013, 7:55 am
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(NECN/NBC: Steve Handelsman) - The Cleveland man who imprisoned and tortured three women for more than a decade pleaded guilty and accepted a life sentence in prison.

The plea bargain will mean no trial for Ariel Castro and no testimony from the women he held captive.

In a statement given as he accepted entered his guilty plea, Castro denied he was violent and claimed an addiction to pornography ruined his mind. He also said he was a victim of abuse as a child.

"I would like to state that I was also a victim as a child, and it just kept going," he said. "My addiction to pornography and my sexual problem has really taken a toll on my mind."

The guilty plea includes all 937 counts he was charged with, including repeatedly raping his victims and even starving one of the women in order to force her to have a miscarriage.

As part of the deal, Castro will avoid the death penalty.

Watch the attached video for more.

Tags: ohio, CLeveland, Steve Handelsman, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, michelle knight, Ariel Castro
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