During sentencing, Ariel Castro insists he’s not a violent sexual predator

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CLEVELAND (CNN) -- Judge Michael Russo sentenced Ariel Castro Thursday to life in prison plus 1,000 years for the rape and captivity of Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Georgina DeJesus in Cleveland.

The sentencing hearing lasted all morning long. Michele Knight read a statement. Ariel Castro also spoke to the judge, the court and even the victims.

After Castro spoke, the judge commended Knight for showing 'remarkable restraint.'

Key excerpts from Ariel Castro's statement include Castro's assertion that he was motivated by a sexual addiction. He said he would masturbate for hours at a time.

"These people are trying to paint me as a monster and I'm not a monster. I'm sick," Castro said. "I believe I am addicted to porn to the point that it makes me impulsive and I lost it," he said, adding he's "not trying to make excuses."

Ariel Castro took issue with the aggravated murder charge related to the allegation that his abuse terminated the pregnancy of one of his victims, saying there was no evidence the incident occurred. Judge Michael Russo reminded him that he pleaded guilty, and Castro said he did so only to save his victims further psychological trauma.

When it was all over, he thanked the victims several times.

"Thank you victims. Please find it in your hearts to forgive me," he said.

Noting that Ariel Castro had an "outwardly" normal relationship with a girlfriend, Judge Russo told the kidnapper during his sentencing hearing it's clear "you are able to choose who you wish to victimize."

"In your mind, there was harmony and a happy household," Russo said. "I'm not sure there's anyone else in America who would agree with you."

He called Castro's behavior "anti-social personality disorder" and told him "you have extreme narcissism and it seems rather pervasive."

"There is no place in this city, there is no place in this country, there is no place in this world for those who enslave others," Judge Michael Russo told kidnapper Ariel Castro.

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