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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  August 1, 2013 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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it creates jobs and puts more money into your wallet. >> we've got to have a serious, steady, long-term, american strategy to reverse the long-term erosion of middle class security. >> the doctotodoctor's office i last place anyone would want to find the irs. >> indeed. as the president focuses on middle class jobs and the long term health of the american economy, house republicans are spending last few days before break voting on a grab bag of partisan goodies, or as "the washington post" calls them, scandal bills. there is the stop irs act. there is the stop playing on citizens cash act. and there is the crown jewel of scandalville's -- the keep the irs off your health care act, a bill that will allow republicans to cast their 40th vote to repeal the affordable care act. according to speaker john boehner, that is all much more productive than anything the president might be doing. >> we're not just over here
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making noise. i'm not going to speak for what the president is doing or why he is doing it. if i have poll numbers as low as his, i'd probably be out doing the same thing. >> actually, if the speaker's poll numbers were anywhere close to those of the president, he might be doing very different things. yesterday the president was on capitol hill meeting with congressional democrats to coordinate strategy on the fall fiscal fights. >> what's the message you are bringing to the hilda? >> jobs, middle class, growth. >> afterwards the senator, chuck schumer, noted unlike his republican colleagues, democrats are united on the way forward. >> focusing on investments that help the middle class and being very clear and very specific about what they are is the new day and the new way in america. >> across the aisle, it is a sea of confusion and disarray. while the tea party fringe and right flank urge congressional republicans to push for government shutdown over funding obama care, there doesn't appear to be a back-up plan should the government actually shut down.
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"there is no plan b. there is no "what if," said one republican lawmaker. he said he talked to a handful of members who met with heritage action and the group had had no viable alternative to the president caving in. that's leaving us in the lurch. that is nor proper planning." but who needs a game plan? who needs compromise? if you're rush limbaugh, not the gop. >> are you suggesting republicans shouldn't negotiate and have biapproach with democrats? >> well, yeah, pretty much, because i don't think we have anything in common with them. >> joining me today, former national press secretary for the obama campaign, ben labolt, managing ed are to have the and an msnbc contributor, joy reid, u.s. managing editor of the "financial times," martin dixon. joining us from capitol hill, house democratic whip condition man from maryland's 5th district, steny hoyer. congressman, thanks for joining us. i think a lot of us are a little bit concerned about the fact, a, that john boehner says he has a
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strategy but when you dig deeper, it appears that there is no plan b, if the government is actually shut down. is it going to come to that in the fall? >> well, even if there were a plan b, we've seen that speaker's plan bs aren't supporting by his own party. saw that last december. but i want to make a comment on something that you just ran a clip on rush limbaugh. and he said we have nothing in common. in point of fact, we're all americans and we were elected by the american people as their board of directors and the american people expect us to work together. they understand their different perspectives. so i was really very disappointed with that kind of philosophy that we have nothing in common. we are americans. we want our country to succeed. we want to create jobs for our people. hopefully we have that in common and i was very disappointed to hear rush limbaugh say that. but perhaps it reflects his attitude and, unfortunately, maybe too many of the members of
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the house of representatives, republican conference, share that attitude. that's unfortunate. >> congressman, tell us about the president's visit to the hill had yesterday and chuck schumer said that everybody's on the same page. what is the strategy going in to the fall after the end of the recess? >> well, certainly the strategy has been, and continues to be, to focus on the creation of jobs. we believe that's the number one priority of americans. we believe it ought to be the number one priority of the congress, and clearly, as you've seen in recent weeks -- but frankly through the last four and a half years, it's been the number one priority of the president of the united states. the creation of jobs is critical if we're going to get the country to where it needs to be. in order to do that, we need to invest in education and infrastructure and innovation and we need to have a fiscally responsible policy and as hal rogers said when effectively the appropriations process the republicans have been running
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and the ryan budget essentially melted down yesterday in the house of representatives. it melted down not only on the floor of the house of representatives, but it melted down in the committee and they withdrew two of their appropriation bills and hal rogers observed that the numbers were unrealistic and unworkable and that they ought to abandon sequestration. i share that view. but until we get the majority party in the house of representatives to come to grips with pursuing reality and pursuing compromise and working together, it is very difficult. but the president's focused on jobs. we're focused on jobs. we had a make it in america press conference this morning with eight new bills that we've added making over 40 bills that we believe could have bipartisan support, designed at growing manufacturing, growing jobs in america, and growing exports so that our economy will do better.
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so that's what we're focused on. that's what the president talked about and we believe that what the republicans have been doing is simply wasting time and giving political messages, not substance to the american people. >> certainly those scandal bills would seem to be proof of that assessment. congressman steny hoyer, we look forward to talk you to you in the fall. we are following the sentencing hearing for ariel castro, the man convicted of imprisoning, raping and beating three women for a decade in his cleveland home. we are awaiting witness testimony, including from michelle -- the victim, michele knight, who entered the courtroom just moments ago. joining us now from cleveland is nbc's kate snow. kate, could you give us the latest on what we've been hearing this morning? >> reporter: yeah. it's been really startling testimony coming from a number of different witnesses called by prosecutors. they wanted to lay out what happened to these women when they were in the home of ariel castro. that included a lot of graphic
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testimony, a lot of disturbing details about how they were held in captivity. photos in the last couple of hours, we saw photos of the house where they were held. now we have just seen in the courtroom michele knight, one of the victims. we're told she will speak for herself. in addition, there will be a cousin representing gina dejesus and the sister of amanda berry, beth sorano, expected to speak. >> we'll go back to the courtroom for the sentencing hearing of ariel castro. >> one victim, michele knight, is present here in the courtroom. we'll begin this afternoon, judge, with sylvia cologne, representing gina dejesus. and accompanied by the attorney for the family. >> would they be comfortable at the podium? >> they, i believe, are going to stand in front of you, your honor, and direct to you.
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>> my name is sylvia cologne and i am a cousin and spokesperson for the dejesus family. we have enjoyed our low-key lives and pray we can continue to savor our privacy. on behalf of my entire family, we would like to thank the honorable judge, michael russo, officer of the prosecutor and his staff, as well as the defense team for an accelerated resolution to the castro case.
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today we will close this chapter of our lives. family members, we love you. to our friends, neighbors, fbi, cleveland police, our attorneys at jones day, the great city of cleveland and too many others to name, thank you and god bless you. for nine long years you've been by our sides, encouraging and supporting us. we shall never forget you. you are flou part of our family. to the castro family, we are saddened that you are burdened with this horror and will, unfortunately, forever be tied to these atrocities. please know that we do not hold you accountable and pray that you can one day be whole again. continue to love and support one another. we promise you that with this recipe you will be triumphant.
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our family recognizes it is not for us to judge or determine any punishment. only a higher power can do that. today is the last day we want to think or talk about this. these events will not own a place in our thoughts or our hearts. we will continue to live and love. we stand before you and promise you that our beloved family member thrives. she laughs, she swims, she dances, and, more importantly, she loves and she's loved. she will finish school, go to college, fall in love, and, if she chooses, she will get married and have children. she is where we will continue to
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put our energy. she lives not as a victim but as a survivor. her insurmountable will to prevail is the only story worth discussing. we continue -- we ask that you continue to give her and our family privacy as we continue this journey back into society. to ariel castro -- [ speaking spanish ] gracias and thank you. >> thank you, ma'am. zblu >> your honor, next is beth
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sorano, accompanied by the attorney for the family and her husband on behalf of the family of amanda berry. >> good morning, your honor. >> welcome. what would you like to say? >> hi. my name is beth sorano. i am amanda berry's sister. the impact of these crimes on our family is something that we do not want to discuss with people we don't know. even if i wanted to talk about it, it is impossible to put in to words. for me i lost my sister for all of those years and i thought it was forever. and we lost our mother forever. she died not knowing, my mother and sister, the two most loving people in the world. it is impossible to put int amanda is not here today. but she is strong, beautiful inside and out and is doing better every day.
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she is not just my only sister but the best friend i have, i best person i know. she does not want to talk about these things. she that is not talked about these even with me. and she does not want others to talk about these things. the main reason she does not want anyone to talk about these things or be forced to that you can about these things is because she has a young daughter. she would love to be the person to her daughter. when people say things and file things in court, it is public. it is written and talked about by people we don't know. amanda's concern is that her daughter will hear about things or read about things said by the wrong people, the wrong way at the wrong time. before amanda thinks the time is right to tell her daughter, my sister has asked me to say the same thing she has been saying since this case started. please respect had her privacy. she does not want other people to talk or write about what
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happened. now that there will be no trial, there doesn't seem to be any reason at all why people cannot do what she asks. amanda did not control anything for a long time. please let her control -- have control over this so she can protect her daughter. she will do anything to protect her daughter. she also asked me to say that she is grateful this case is over. she wanted me to say thank you to the people that have supported her and our family, everyone at the jones day law firm, fbi, cleveland police, dejesus family, the entire community and everyone else who's continued to stand by our side. we appreciate everyone's support and kindness. thank you. >> thank you, ma'am.
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>> your honor, michele knight will address you. she's accompanied by her attorney, kathy joseph, and another of the victims. >> my name's michele knight and i would like to tell you what a living hell this was like for me. i miss my son every day. i wonder if i was ever going to see him again. he was only 2 1/2 years old when
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i was tooken. i look inside my heart and i see my son. i cried every night. i was so alone. i worried about what would happen to me and the other girls every day. days never got shorter. days turned into nights. nights turned into days. years turned into eternity. i knew nobody cared about me. he told me that my family didn't care. even on holidays. christmas was the most traumatic day because i never got to spend it with my son. nobody should ever have to go
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through what i went through or anybody else, not even worsest enemy. gina was my teammate. 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 is the only thing that was good out of this situation. we said we would some day make it out alive and we did. ariel castro, i remember all the times that you came home talking about what everybody else did wrong and act like you wasn't doing the same thing. you said at least i didn't kill you. for you took 11 years of my life away and i have got it back. i spent 11 years in hell.
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now your hell is just beginning. i will overcome all this that happened but you will face fahe for eternity. from this moment on, i will not let you define me or affect who i am. i will live on, you will die a little every day as you think about the 11 years and atrocities you inflicted on us. what does god think of you hypocritically going to church every sunday? coming home to torture us. death penalty wiould be so much easier. you don't deserve that. you deserve to spend your life in prison. i can forgive you, but i will never forget.
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with the guidance of god, i will prevail and help others who have suffered at the hands of others. writing this statement gave me the strength to be a stronger woman. and know that there's good -- there's more good than evil. i know that there is a lot of people going through hard times, but we need to reach out a hand and hold them and let them know that they're being heard. after 11 years, i am finally being heard and it is liberating. thank you all. i love you. god bless you. >> thank you, miss knight. >> you want to cover the sentencing criteria? >> yes, your honor. pursuant to criminal rule
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2929.11, the purposes of the sentencing and 2929.12 seriousness of crime and recidivism factors. judge, as you well know, the purposes and principles of sentencing are to punish the offender and to protect the public. this case speaks volumes with regards to the defendant's actions. if we look at the harm that has been caused to this victim, the only thing i need to tell you is 13,226 days of captivity. his actions of luring these victims, vulnerable victim, a victim that wanted to see her son, he lured that girl for puppies, then keeping her captive the next 2 1/2 years. luring the other two women,
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their ages 16 and 14, that is something you need to take into consideration. under the guise of coming to see his own flesh and blood, his daughters, and then holding them in captivity for the next ten years for amanda and nine years for gina. he locked the doors. he kept them chained. he used dirty socks when they screamed for help. there was duct tape and motorcycle helmets. that's what you need to consider, your honor. repeated pattern of sexual abuse, physical abuse, laying a hand on a woman, on anybody, is a crime in this country, and he repeatedly did it for his own benefit. that's what needs to be considered, the impact on the victim. slapping them, punching them,
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stomping them on their stomachs. he dictated. he dictated when they ate, when they slept, when they could talk, when they could interact. he dictated when they could go to the bathroom, and if that commode would even be empty based on their defiant behavior. he tormented them by allowing them to watch their vigils where members of our community circled around the families looking for them on their anniversary dates, and he even had the audacity to attend them and to talk to the family members knowing full well that these women were in his captivity. they were right underneath his roof. again, what kind of impact on this victim? as michelle just told you, he would go to church on sundays and come home and torment them.
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he told them that they had to respect their elders. he was their elder and they had to do exactly what he wanted, when he wanted, and whatever he wanted. he bartered food. he gave them money, and then he took it away. he made them clean to earn their keep. he provided no medical attention. from the oldest victim to the youngest. a child was born in a swimming pool. that impact alone, your honor, that child wasn't breathing, and but for a young woman who had the courage to breathe some life into that child, that child may not even be here. and to exacerbate that, he further kept the placenta he
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refrigerator as a memento, and then he discarded when he was -- they were getting close to him being caught. brazen behavior, your honor. giving the appearance that he was a good guy in the community, that he would take out a 6-year-old child, his own daughter, and represent her as a daughter of his girlfriend. that is brazen behavior of a cold, calculating, self-absorbed human being that does not need to see the light of day. you, as a judge, are entrusted with the powers of sentencing. this is a court of law. it is not one of mercy. this court dos doesn't impart mercy. only god gives mercy.
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his actions have spoken so loud in this community and by his plea, we hope that anybody else who challenges law enforcement or anybody else in the field that will prevent this kind of behavior from ever happening again. i think michelle said it best to you. it wasnr honor, and that'sha he deserves in this sentence. the minimum is 1,000 years but this court can go higher. and the reason for our hearing today was to give you a picture of what happened at 2207 seymour. it was by no means any way to disparage, to humiliate or to embarrass, or to tell a story to
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a child. it was information that's being given to a court of law to impose a sentence and that's what we did. thank you. >> thank you. >> your honor, ultimately i think that the statement that i made prior to the presentation reflects our true feelings about the presentation that's been made and in our opinion we feel that it was inappropriate and i think as miss knight says, as well as some of the other family members that were here on behalf of the victims, these were really private matters and i understand the point for sentencing purposes. but the accidents was agreed upon and mr. castro waived his
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appellate rights to appeal in this case. this is a highly unusual case. he has agreed to life without parole and he'll suffer as a result of the plea and the minimum 1,000 years to life seems to be supsuperfluous, but >> in terms of law, the court has allowed discretion under the sentencing statutes in terms of its findings, but i don't think that the presentation by the prosecutor -- although more lengthy than one we would ordinarily have in a case, the facts of this case and the span of the crimes are unprecedented in this county and if you're aware, as i'm sure you are, state versus venice, which is a
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recent decision from may in our court of appeals, when there are consecutive sentences sought or to be imposed, the court must comply with 2929.14c4 and i have to make specific findings relevant to those factors. and, since there was not a trial -- at a trial, i would have heard all the facts and could have applied them for sentencing. but here there was a plea, there was no psi, so i understand why the state presented some of the information. it was toned down greatly, as far as i could understand the original potential testimony at trial. so while i respect the defense position, at the same time, in order to determine whether i wish to impose the recommended sentence, i have to make those findings and i have to have a basis for them. so it has been relevant in that
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sense and in my view, necessary. anything that was seeking to generate any passion or prejudice or emotionalism i've discarded and that will not be part of my decision here. has your side -- you're done. correct? >> yes, your honor. unless the defendant makes a statement. we would then -- then i would reserve the ability to -- >> if you want to make a statement, make it now. then if mr. castro iswants to me a statement, then that will be the end of it. >> your honor, thank you. >> you pointed out this is unprecedented. -- based on your experience and
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understanding of the law and the 937 convictions. the presentation and the facts that now are of the record, the facts demonstrate the depth of the defendant's depravity. we recommend to a minimum sentence of 1,000. there are 9,245 years available and $11 million. $650,000-plus available in fines. we do not want this man to profit, now or in the future, from his crime. we will -- we appreciate whatever sentence you deem appropriate. he took advantage of young and vulnerable children with a plan prior calculated criminal acts.
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it was a disaster this this community. the ultimate disaster for these three or four victims and their families. the anguish they experienced is almost undescribable. if these short few hours here we tried to help this court get a feel of the extraordinary deprivation that these victims incurred. one victim, michelle, the morning she wakes up in the hospital, looks out window, her first day, first time she gets to see the sun rise. it was a cloudy day but it was beautiful to her. that was her first opportunity in over a decade to see what the outside looked like, to see what green looks like, to see life. what this man did as a master manipulator then and now, and it continues.
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we've heard this claim, sudden claim that he suffered from mental illness. there is actually no backing to that claim. he had no psychiatric disorder. it's noted in dr. resnick's report. there's no psychiatric diagnosis. he has no psychiatric excuses. he is responsible. does a man like he or gacy or bundy have a problem? they sure do. and is he a sexual predator? he sure is. and should sexual predators seek help? they sure should. they shouldn't even engage in such activity. he has no excuse. he has made a series of attempts to blame others and in fact when questioned, he blames others. he blames the children and the victims and now women who entered his car for getting into his car. he constantly berated them for
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listening to him, for not doing what they were told, not doing what they were taught in school. he takes no responsibility. he has no sincere remorse. the only reason he pled to this crime and agreed to this sentence was to avoid a death penalty sentence for himself. for no one else. we thought we heard the evidence of the methodical torture and issues that he caused and the harm he has caused to the victim. i will not elaborate on it. the victims themselves and the doctors and the other witnesses have demonstrated that. but, his attitude is what i want to comment on, before we hear from him again. he said if he had to do it, he would do it all over again. he doesn't believe he did
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anything wrong. that is what the ultimate issue is and calls for this punishment. there is no remorse and that is a factor. as the court well knows, in the evaluation. we thank and admire the victims and their courage for how they survived, how they worked togeth together. the word we heard today, to survive the ordeal, to live through this, to live to testify, to live to a point to survive, to go back to their families, those that were left. amanda, of course, her own mother had died in the meantime while she, sadly, wrote to her in her diary on a regular basis to her mother. then she had to write to her deceased mother. she had to sit there and tell
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her loving mother what she would have told her. she then had to learn of her own mother's funeral. then she has to learn of this man, the guy who goes to church on sunday who comes home and beats and rapes then. then this man had the audacity to go to their vigils. and then they can see it on tv, allows them to see it on tv, their vigil. then he has the audacity to to gina's mother, when hes onlit a poster to post of theau that mother is looking for, begging for, praying for and he has in his own home and he's torturing her. this man deserves as many years and as much punishment as this court can possibly give him. we thank the courage of the victims. they have inspired us all. they have inspired law enforcement. they have inspired the
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prosecutors and they have inspired their families and they have inspired other victims in the future. thank you, your honor. >> thank you. >> your honor, i would offer the binder of our marked exhibits that are in support of the plea agreement. i'll note that state's 18, a firearm, will be retained by the state of ohio. >> continuing objection to the introduction of the material, your honor. judge, specifically we object to state's exhibit 17 which is the actual full interrogation of mr. castro by the police officer. it is my understanding that the one thing that was going to be introduced at this hearing was going to be the synopsis that was presented by i believe detective dave jacobs. >> we met the other day about this. correct? >> correct. and not the actual video itself. >> that's not my understanding. i reached no agreement with anyone on that subject. >> do you have the synopsis in
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here? >> yes. >> if is not in there, it should be. >> well, if you synopsis which is a less volatile version of events? that will be accepted by the court. i'll return the dvd to you of the actual interview. >> exhibit 11, your honor, three-page written statement of mr. castro. that represents a synopsis that was a result of the second interview. >> your honor, the state has in no way agreed this is a synopsis of more than 1,000 hours of interrogation. that's mr. castro's "make you feel sorry for me statement." >> you seem to be operating under the impression that i don't know what this case is about. >> i want the future reader of this record to know what it is about, judge. 20 years from now. this guy's setting up his appeal right now. he promised not to appeal, but
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he'll appeal as soon as he walks out the door. >> i don't see the dvd in here. if you have it, keep it. if it is in here, you'll have to take it out at the end because the dvd won't be going. you can substitute. thank you. all right. you have now heard some additional information. state's done. anything that you wish to say on behalf of your client with respect to the issue of sentencing, mitigation, anything else? >> judge, i believe that mr. castro's prepared to make a statement. >> he is, your honor. >> i just wanted to see if either of you had anything else to say. >> no. >> all right. so mr. castro, earlier we spoke and you were aware that you had a right to make a statement. either with respect to sentencing or by way of mitigation of punishment. so what would you like to say?
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>> first of all, i'm a very emotional person so i'm going to try to get it out. i stated before that i was a victim of sex acts when i was a child. this led me to do what i became my whole life. eventually after i held jobs, because i always worked, what i'm trying to get at, is these people are trying to paint me as a monster and i'm not a monster. i'm sick. i didn't -- my sexual problems been so bad in my mind that i'm
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impulsive. but eventually i married, had four children, lived a normal life. i was still practicing the art of touching myself. i believe i am addicted to porn to the point that it really makes me impulsive and i just don't realize what i'm doing is wrong. i know it is not an excuse. i'm not trying to make excuses here, but i know when i told david the sex crimes will live with me forever. i'm not contesting that.
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i've been a musician for a long time, 25, 30 years. to be a musician and to be a monster that you're trying to say i am? i don't think i can handle that. i'm a happy person inside. i drove a school bus for 21 years. i had a very good job. when i started slacking off, trying to get fired because i knew it was just too much. this job is too stressful and coming home to my situation, i just couldn't juggle both of them. i never had a record until i met my children's mother. my son was on there the other day saying how abusive i was,
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but i was never abusive. that hurt. he failed to say that at the end before she passed away -- what i'm trying to say, what she's saying that i was a wife beater? that is -- ha is wrong because this happened because i couldn't get her to quiet down. i would continually tell her, your children are right there, please. she would respond, "i don't care if the children are there." she would just keep going and the situation would escalate until the point where she would put her hands on me and that's how i reacted, by putting my hands on her. i know that's wrong.
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after some years we separated. then i was single for five years. at that time i continued to practice the art of masturbation and pornography and it got so bad that i used to do it like maybe two or three hours a day, nonstop. and when i would finish, i would just collapse right there. when i picked up the first victim, i wasn't -- i didn't plan it that day. i didn't plan it and think about it. i didn't do it. that day i went to family dollar and i heard her oversaying something. i react on that. when i got up that day, i did not say, oh, i'm going to get up and try to find some women
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because it wasn't my character. but i know it's wrong. i know -- i'm not trying to make excuses. i know i'm wrong for doing it. but i'm just saying. they're trying to say that i'm violent person? i'm not a violent person. like i said, i drove a school bus, was a musician, i had a family. i do have value for human life because every time i came home, i would be so mad of the situation, as crazy as that may sound. my daughter, she just made every day for me when she was born. she never saw what was going on at that house, your honor. if anyone would question her, she'll say the opposite. she'll probably say my dad is
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the best dad in the world. that's how i tried to raise her those six years so she won't be traumatized or anything like that. she had a normal life those six years. i tried to take her out in public to give her a normal life, look, this is how it works. i would take her to church. i would come home and just be normal, like normal family. these accusations that i would come home and beat her -- beat them? those are totally wrong, your honor. because, like i said before, i am not a violent person. i know what i did is wrong but i'm not a violent person. i simply kept them there without them being able to leave. i know when i picked up the second victim, which was gina, i
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don't understand how i passed up my own daughter to pick her you up. because i was driven by sex. and no, i did not know who she was. i saw her walking but i did not know that she was a member of the dejesus family. because i know her dad. we went to school together. we didn't see much of each other at school, but i know him from school. amanda, i'm not blaming her, but i'm trying to make a point across that i a not a violent predator. you're trying to make me look a monster. i'm not a monster. i'm a normal person.
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i am just sick. i have an addiction. alcoholics cannot control their addiction. that's why i couldn't control my addiction, your honor. most of the sex that went on in the house -- practically all of it was consensual. these allegations about being forceful on them, that is totally wrong. because there was times that they would even ask me for sex. many times. and i learned these girls are not virgins, from their testimony to me. they had multiple partners before me. all three of them.
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that's basically it. i just want to clear the record that i am not a monster, i did not prey on these women, i just acted on sexual instincts because of my sexual addiction, and god as my witness, i never beat these women like they're trying to say i did. i never tortured them. finally, i would like to apologize to the victims, amanda berry and gina dejesus and michele knight. i am truly sorry for what happened. to this day i'm trying to answer my own questions. don't know why.
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i had a job, a home, my musical talent. i hfrg goihad everything going me, your honor. i have a good history of working, providing. i just hope that you find it in your heart to forgive me. because we had a lot going on in that home. if you see the youtube video from amanda this weekend, that right there in itself proves that that girl did not go through no torture. that woman did not go through no torture. because if that was true, you think she would be out there
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partying already and having fun? i don't think so. i seen gina and through the media. she looks normal. she acts normal. a person that's been tortured does not act normal. they act withdrawn. to the contrary, she's opposite. acts happy. victims are happy. haven't seen much of michelle. because michelle, since day one, no one missed her. i feel that the fbi let these girls down because -- because when they questioned -- when they questioned my daughter,
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that's okay. but they failed to question me. i'm her father. if they would have questioned me in '02 or whenever that happened when ddegina went missing, it's possible it could have ended right there. and also they forgot to mention that i did mention to him that i was addicted to porn. i am truly sorry to the dejesus family, michelle, and amanda. you guys know a lot of harmony went on in that home. i guess god can hear me. i ask my family and i apologize to my family also for putting
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them through all this. i want to apologize to the state of ohio, the city of cleveland. i just want to apologize to everyone who was touched by these events. but i do also want to let you know that there was harmony in that home. there was harmony in that home. i was a good person. even growing up, i never had a record. i just hope that they find it in their hearts to forgive me and to maybe do some research on people who have addictions so they can see how their addiction takes over their lives. so again, i'm sorry to all the victims. i'm sorry to my daughter because
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i know that -- god bless here, she's a miracle child. god bless the women, too. but she -- there was times that -- when she was born, i know i could have taken her but that's why -- i could have taken her to the e.r. but then chose not to. thank god that nothing happened, bad happened, because this last year she started getting toothaches and i said to myself, i'm letting her die. because an infection could possibly take her life. the situation, your honor, w
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wwa was -- lack of words. but that's also a problem i have, also. i'll start talking and i just go blank. so i apologize to you, your honor, for bringing this case even in to your courtroom. again, thank you, everyone, and i am sorry for everything. i know -- true judgment day is when god comes and judges me. but i've been praying and asking for forgiveness and due to the fact that i do have a sexual addiction, i don't know how he's going to judge me. i don't know. the comment that the lady made for the dejesus family at the
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end? that wasn't called for. so again, thank you, everyone. thank you, victims. please find it in your hearts to forgive me. >> thank you, your honor. >> thank you. >> mr. castro, you have before you your plea agreement. and if you recall on page 10, part of the agreement was that you would execute all necessary documents and perform all acts to transfer right, title and interest in real property, 2207 seymour avenue, in cleveland, to the land bank. so one day after the plea hearing, that's what you did. correct? >> that is correct. >> you signed all the papers? >> yes. >> all right. and you understand that are you not entitled to seek any profit. you agreed not to seek any profit from this matter.
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correct? >> say again. i'm sorry. >> you have agreed that you will not seek any profit of this. in other words, you're not going to be writing a book and receiving funds. you won't be licensing anything. >> that is correct. >> the only people that may in the future receive any benefit from this will be the victims. is that clear? >> yes. >> miss knight, thank you for your remarkable restraint during that statement. >> mr. castro, you have several times, both in the plea kcollo y colloquy, then today mention you
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don't feel you are a violent person. certainly, section 2971 talks about what is a violent sex offense. that includes the charge of rape. you pled guilty to a number of those. hundreds of counts. it also defines sexually violent defense, is a violent sex offense for which a person was convicted of or pled guilty to with the sexual motivation. it talks about a sexually violent predator. so by operation of law, the rape and such would then constitute a sexually violent offense and you pled guilty to that, been found guilty of it, got your plea, and essentially violent offense and the likely thod engage in the future in one or more sexually violent offenses qualifies a person as a sexually violent predator. here under 2971.01h2, c, d and e
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where they talk about the information suggests that the person chronically commits an offense with sexual motivation, you have to admit that happened here by which would be the rape charges. the person has committed one or more offenses the person has tortured or engaged in ritualistic acts. that seems to have occurred. one or more victims were physically harmed to the degree a vparticular life's victim was in jeopardy and that most prominently occurred with miss knight. so there are legal reasons which i'm sure your attorneys have discussed with you, though you may not like the terminology of the code, it fits. it may be unpleasant to you -- >> the violent part. you know, it makes it sound like i forced myself on to them.
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that didn't happen. >> well, you know -- >> physically. >> by virtue of your plea, that's what you did. you pled guilty to that and by virtue of your plea you raped someone. that's what it means. so mr. castro, sentence iing co before this court on felony matters -- and one misdemeanor as well -- i have to comply with the felony sentencing statutes. overall-purpose is to punish the offender and pro tefkt the public from future crime by the defender an others using the minimum sanctions that the court determines was congress' purpose without imposing unnecessary burden on state or local government resources. in imposing sentence the court must consider the need for incompass tags, deterrence, rehabilitation and restitution. i have to come up with a sentence for you that's commensurate to the seriousness of your conduct, impacts on the
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victims and a sentence that's consistent with sentences for similar crimes by similar offenders and also the sentence must not be based upon your race, ethnicity, gender or religion. one issue here in terms of proportion alt which we'll get to later, i looked back on the cases i've had, there have been none that have a scope approaching this, but in terms of harm to a victim, they're similar, although your misconduct here far exceeds the scope and duration of the defendants i'm going to mention. in kevin dominic's case which was 300-286, i imposed two consecutive life sentences for him. and for mr. yakov, in case