1 of 3 Cleveland victims tells kidnapper she 'spent 11 years in hell' but knew she'd escape

One of three Cleveland women raped repeatedly during a decade of captivity has stood in front of her tormentor in court and said the trio always knew they eventually would escape.

Michelle Knight smiled as Ariel Castro was led out of court Thursday in chains, a method he had used to control his victims.

Knight was the only victim to appear in court as a judge followed a plea deal and gave Castro life in prison without parole plus 1,000 years.

Castro pleaded guilty last week to 937 counts including aggravated murder, kidnapping, rape and assault. A deal struck with prosecutors spared him from a possible death sentence.

Castro apologized to his victims briefly but claimed most of the sex was consensual and the women were never tortured.

Knight says she "spent 11 years in hell."


Seewer reported from Toledo. Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus contributed to this report.