The Slatest

Ariel Castro Claims He’s “Not a Monster” as He’s Sentenced to a Millennium Behind Bars

In this handout from the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, Ariel Castro, 52, is seen in a booking photo May 9, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Photo by Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office via Getty Images

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Behind Bars for Life: Associated Press: “The Ohio man convicted of holding three women captive in his Cleveland house over a decade and raping them repeatedly was sentenced Thursday to life in prison plus 1,000 years. Ariel Castro, 53, apologized to his victims in a rambling, defiant statement before he was sentenced. He blamed his sex addiction and others while claiming most of the sex was consensual and that the women were never tortured. …. Judge Michael Russo dismissed Castro’s claims that the women lived a happy life with him. ‘I’m not sure there’s anyone in America that would agree with you,’ he said.”

“I’m Sick”: New York Times: “‘These people are trying to paint me as a monster,’ Mr. Castro said. ‘I’m not a monster. I’m sick.’ He apologized to the victims, and said that he was not a violent person and blamed his actions on addiction to pornography. Earlier testimony from law enforcement officers on Thursday painted a picture of Mr. Castro as calculating, remorseless and sadistic, a man who kidnapped the three women, repeatedly beating and raping them, and often keeping them chained to a pole in the basement of his house.”

Victims Take the Stand: Washington Post: “One of the three women held captive and … told a spellbound courtroom on Thursday that she would overcome all that has happened to her. ‘I spent 11 years in hell,’ Michelle Knight told Castro…. ‘Now, your hell is just beginning.’ … ‘You took 11 years of my life away, and I have got it back,’ said Knight, the only one of the three victims to testify in court. ‘I will live on, you will die a little every day.’”

Photos of House Released: NBC News: “Prosecutors revealed chilling photos from inside Ariel Castro’s Cleveland house of horrors … showing a house modified on the inside to keep his captives in and the rest of the world out. … Prosecutors stood ready to use a model of the confessed kidnapper’s house of horrors and diary entries from victims to describe his atrocities at a sentencing hearing on Thursday, as witnesses including police officers and medical experts revealed the terrifying details – including that more than 90 pounds of chains, measuring nearly 100 feet, were recovered from the home.”

It’s Thursday. Welcome to the Slatest PM, where we’re rounding up the day’s top stories and staring down the long, hot August ahead. Follow me, your afternoon news guide, on Twitter at @s_brodez and the whole team at @slatest.

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White House Reconsiders Putin Summit: Reuters: “High-level talks between Russia and the United States scheduled for next week in Washington are ‘up in the air’ and a September summit also is in doubt after Russia granted asylum to former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, U.S. officials said on Thursday. ‘We see this as an unfortunate development and we are extremely disappointed by it,’ White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Alex Rodriguez May Get Lifetime Baseball Ban: NBC News: “Baseball fans are waiting for the hammer to drop on one of the game’s biggest stars — Alex Rodriguez, the key figure in a vast steroid scandal. Speculation is rampant over what will become of the New York Yankees player known simply as A-Rod,” and one option before Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is the most severe sanction in his power — lifetime ineligibility, baseball’s version of the death penalty.”

A Few More Quick Hits from Slate:

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