At Ariel Castro’s sentencing hearing Thursday, the court heard some emotional testimony from one of his victims, Michelle Knight. Earlier, investigators revealed photos from inside the Cleveland house of horrors where he kept the three kidnapped women hostage for nearly a decade, subjecting them to rape and abuse.


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Knight told the court that she was "so alone" and often wondered what would happen to Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and herself. She described DeJesus fondly, as her "teammate" during the decade-long ordeal.

"She never let me fall. I never let her fall. She nursed me back to health when I was dying from his abuse. My friendship with her was the only thing that was good out of this situation," said Knight, who has previously stated that Castro beat her so that she would miscarry after he got her pregnant.

Knight spoke to Castro directly, telling him that she "spent 11 years in hell."


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"I will overcome all this that happened, but you will face hell for eternity. From this moment on, I will not let you define me or affect who I am. The death penalty would be so much easier.  You don't deserve that, you deserve to spend life in prison. I can forgive you, but I'll never forget," she said.

Castro is facing life in prison, plus 1,000 years, with no possibility of parole after prosecutors struck a deal to avoid a trial and spare him the death penalty. A trial would have meant all three victims would have had to testify at length about their captivity. He addressed the court after Knight, maintaining that he "is not a monster" and even arguing that there was "harmony" in the house.