[There was a video here]
"I am not a monster," is such a monster thing to say.
Above is a highlight, of sorts, of Ariel Castro's 16+ minute statement at his sentencing earlier today for the kidnapping and 10-year imprisonment of three women in his Cleveland home. During his ramble, he repeatedly invoked his supposed sex/porn addiction, claimed that he is not a monster, claimed that the sex he had with his captive was consensual, claimed that there was "harmony" in the household he built by ripping three women from their lives. He also used the phrases "the art of touching myself" and "the art of masturbation."
First of all, I am a very emotional person so I will try to get it out. I stated before that I was a victim of sex acts when I was a child. This led me to view pornography for my whole life. Eventually after I held jobs, because I always worked...what I'm trying to get at is these people are trying to paint me as a monster, and I'm not a monster. I'm sick. My sexual problems were so bad in my mind that I'm repulsive. But eventually I married and had four children, lived a normal life, and I still practiced the art of touching myself when viewing pornography.
I believe I am addicted to porn to the point that it makes me impulsive and I just don't realize what I am doing is wrong. I know it's not an excuse. I am not trying to make excuses here, 'cause I know, when I told David that I had sex crimes, that I will be put away. Forever. I'm not contesting it.
I've been a musician for a long time, maybe 25, 30 years. To be a musician and to be a monster like they say I am, I don't think I can handle it. I'm a happy person inside. I drove a school bus for 21 years. I did a very good job. Towards the end I started slacking off, trying to get fired because I knew it was just too much. This job is too stressful and coming home to my situation and I just can't do both of them.
I never had a record until I left my children's mother. My son was on here the other day saying how abusive I was, but I was never abusive until I left her. He failed to say that at the end before she passed away that them two weren't even talking. So what I am trying to say is what she is saying that I was wife beater, that is wrong, because this happened because I couldn't get her to quiet down. I would continuously tell her, "The children are right there. Would you please?" She responded, "I don't care. I don't care if the children are there." She would keep going and the situation would escalate until the point where she would put her hands on me and that's how I react, by putting my hands on her. I know that's wrong.
After a little over 12 years we were separated and then I was single for about five years, and that time I continued to practice the art of masturbation and pornography and it got so bad that I used to do it maybe two or three hours a day non-stop. And when I was finished i would collapse [inaudible].
When picked up the first victim, I wasn't — I didn't even plan to take [inaudible]. It wasn't something that they're trying to make look like I did, and I planned it, and I was thinking about it. I didn't do that. That day I went to Family Dollar and I heard her over saying something about she needed to get somewhere, and I reacted on that. But when I got up that day, I did not say, "Oh, I'm gonna get up and try to find some women," because it just wasn't my character. But I know it's wrong, and I know I'm not trying to make excuses here. I know I am 100 percent wrong. I mean it.
But I'm saying they're trying to say that I am violent person, and I'm not a violent person. Like I said, I drove a school bus, I'm a musician, I had a family. I do have value for human life, because every time I came home, I would be so glad of the situation, as crazy it it may sound. And my daughter just made every day for me after she was born. She never saw anything that was going on in that house, your honor. Anyone could question her and she'll say the opposite. She'll say, "Yeah, my dad is the best dad in the world," 'cause that's how I try to raise her little sisters so she won't be traumatized or anything like that. She had a normal life in those six years. I tried to take her out into public to give her a normal life: "Look, this is how it works," and I will take her to church and I will come home and just be normal like a normal family. These accusations that I would come home and beat her, beat them, those are totally wrong, your honor, because like I said before, I am not a violent person. I know what I did is wrong but I am not a violent person. I simply kept them there without them being able to leave.
Um I know when I picked up the second victim, which is Gina, I don't understand how I passed on to my own daughter how to pick her up, because I was driven by sex. And no, I did not know who she was. I saw her walking with my daughter, but I did not know that she was related to the DeJesus family. 'Cause I know her dad. We went to school together. We didn't see much of each other at school but I know him from school. Um, Amanda, she got into my vehicle without even knowing who I was and I'm not blaming fault on her, but I'm just saying I'm trying to make up a point across that I am not a violent predator that you are trying to make me look like a monster. I'm not a monster. I am a normal person. I'm just sick. I have an addiction — just like an alcoholic has an addiction. Alcoholics cannot control their addiction. That's what I can't control my addiction, your honor.
But, uh, most of the sex that went on in that house, practically all of it was consensual. These allegations about being forceful on them, that is totally wrong. There was times that they would even ask me for sex. Many times. And I learned that these girls are not virgins in their testimony to me. They had multiple partners before me. All three of them.
But, uh, that's basically it. I just want to clear the record that I am not a monster, I did not prey on these women, I just acted on my sexual instincts because of my sexual addiction. And God as my witness, I never beat these women like they are trying to say that I did. I never tortured them.
Finally, I would like to apologize to the victims: Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. I am truly sorry for what happened. To this day, I am trying to answer my own questions. I don't know why. I man that had everything going on for himself. I had a job. I had a home. I had vehicles. My musical talent. I had everything going on for me, your honor.
I had a good history of working, providing. I just hope they can find it in their hearts to forgive me. Because we had a lot of harmony going on in that home. And if you seen the YouTube video of Amanda this weekend, that right there itself proves that that girl did not go through no torture. That woman did not go through torture. Because if that was true, do you think she would be out partying already and having fun? I don't think so.
I seen Gina, and in the media, she looks normal. She acts normal. A person that's been tortured just does not act normal. They would like act withdrawn and everything. On the contrary, they're the opposite. She's happy. The ictims are happy. I haven't seen much of Michelle because Michelle, since Day One, no one missed her. I never saw [inaudible]. Uh, I feel that the FBI let these girls down because when they [inaudible] - or they — when they questioned, they questioned my daughter, that's OK, but they failed to question me. I'm her father. If they would have questioned me, you know, [inaudible] or whatever it happened [inaudible], it's possible that it would have ended right there.
So and also they forgot to mention that I did mention to the girls that I was addicted to porn. I am truly sorry to the DeJesus family, Michelle, and Amanda, you guys know all the harmony that went on in that home. I ask God to forgive me. I ask my family and I apologize to my family also for putting them through all this. And I want to apologize to the state of Ohio, the city of Cleveland, for putting a dark cloud over this. I just want to apologize to everyone who was touched by these events.
But I do also want to let you know that there was harmony in that home. There was harmony at home. I was a good person. Being brought up, I never had a record. I just hope that they find it in their hearts to forgive me and to maybe do some research on people who have addictions so they can see how their addiction takes over their lives.
So, again, I'm sorry to all of the victims. I'm sorry to my daughter because I know that — God bless her, she's a miracle child. And God bless the women too . But she, you know, there was times that she - when she was born, I know I could have taken her, that's why [inaudible], I could have taken her to the ER. And I chose not to. Thank God that nothing happened - nothing bad happened to her because, um, just last year, she started getting toothaches and I said to myself, I cannot let her die because of one infection. But God didn't take her life.
I was just — the situation, your honor, was just, right now I'm collecting words, but that's part of the problem that I have also, I will start talking and I just go blank. So I apologize to you, your honor, for bringing this case even into your courtroom. Again, thank you for - thank you, everyone, and I'm sorry for everything. I know that the true judgment day is when God comes and judges me but I believe the Bible, I'll be praying and asking for forgiveness. And due to the fact that I do have a sexual addiction, I don't know how he's gonna judge me. I only know the comment that the lady made for the DeJesus family at the end, that was uncalled for.
So, again, thank you, everyone. Thank you, victims. Please find it in your hearts to forgive me. Thank you.
Thank you, victims.