Ariel Castro pleads guilty in Ohio kidnap case

By: ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS AP Legal Affairs Writer
By: ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS AP Legal Affairs Writer

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 pleaded guilty Friday to 937 counts. In exchange, prosecutors are recommending the 53-year-old 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.

A judge accepted the pleas and declared Castro guilty. Sentencing is Aug. 1.

Castro had been awaiting trial on a 977-count indictment. The allegations 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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