July 26, 2013
CLEVELAND (AP) - A Cleveland man accused of holding three women captive in his home for about a decade has pleaded guilty in a deal to avoid the death penalty.
Ariel Castro entered the plea Friday. In exchange, prosecutors are recommending the 53-year-old Castro be sentenced to life without parole plus 1,000 years.
Castro says a pornography addiction and "sexual problem" have taken a toll on his mind. He also says he was sexually abused as a child.
He had been charged in a 977-count indictment. He is pleading guilty to 937 counts.
He had been scheduled for trial Aug. 5 on allegations that include repeatedly restraining the women and punching and starving one woman until she had a miscarriage.
The women disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004. They escaped from Castro's house May 6.
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