An extraordinary profile in courage as Michelle Knight—imprisoned, tortured and raped for 11 years by the monster Ariel Castro—faced him in court.
Knight looked poised as she sat in the courtroom at Castro's sentencing. Only a few feet separated them and he continually glanced over at her. She hugged lawyers and friends and looked tiny as she walked to the front of the courtroom, but her words to Castro were powerful.
“We said we would someday make it out alive, and we did,” she said.
Brave Knight, along with Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus were rescued from the Cleveland house of horrors in May.
When Knight was finished, Castro spoke out, claiming he was a sex addict.
He said, “I’m not a monster, I did not prey on these women. I just acted on my sexual instincts."
A deputy rolled his eyes as Castro actually commented on that appearance by Berry at a concert over the weekend, saying she looked perfectly normal now.
"If you've seen the YouTube video of Amanda, that right there in proves that that girl did not go through no torture," he said.
He actually became emotional as he spoke about the six-year-old daughter he had with Berry after he raping her.
Castro said, "She had a normal life in those six years. I tried to take her out into the public to give her a normal life. Look, this is how it works."
During much of the dramatic day in court, Castro appeared calm, even smiling at one point.
Prosecutors showed a twisted letter in which Castro wrote: "I am a sexual predator."
A police investigator explained how Castro would beat Knight and force her to miscarry if she became pregnant.
The investigator said, "This was done by starving her, feeding her rotten food, kicking and punching her in the stomach, jumping up and down on her in the stomach, and forcing her to perform physical exercises."
One of the first cops inside the house described Knight’s reaction when she realized the decade-long nightmare was finally over.
She said, She literally launched herself into our arms. Legs, arms, she just kept repeating, 'You saved us, you saved us.' At that point, I told her, 'It is ok honey, you are safe.' She then came over to me and jumped into my arms as I am trying to re-holster my weapon, she had her legs wrapped around me, it was kind of hard for me to get my weapon back into my holster."
The judge sentenced Castro to life plus 1,000 years.
As the monster was led away, the words of Michelle Knight echoed in the courtroom, “After 11 years, I am finally being heard and it is liberating. Thank you all, I love you, and God bless you.”