Saturday 17 February 2018

One of Ariel Castro's victims tells how she was beaten by a bellbar because she had fallen pregnant

Michelle Knight was the first of three women to be abducted and trapped by Castro - and she lost five children in the house

One of Ariel Castro’s victims who was held captive in his house of horrors for 11 years has told of the physical and sexual abuse she suffered.

Michelle Knight was the first of three women to be abducted and trapped by Castro - and she lost five children in the house at the hands of his violence.

Ms Knight told RTÉ’s Keelin Shanley today: “He couldn’t have a child here, and he thought that we should get rid of it. So he would sit there and beat me and starve me and literally hit me down the stairs to make sure the baby was gone.”

At one stage, Castro even hit Ms Knight with a barbell.

Initially, Ms Knight was held hostage in the basement of Cleveland’s home where he forced her to wear a motorcycle helmet for days.

She said she “couldn’t breathe” properly during this time, and she was ”fluctuating in and out of consciousness”.

She wasn’t allowed to go to the bathroom, and she was given no food.

 “A day in the basement was like pure hell. Every time I turned around he was bothering me for sex, telling me what to do, how to do it, how to function. And if I didn’t do exactly what he said, he would have killed me.”

After a couple of months, Ms Knight was brought up to a bedroom and chained by the neck to a bed.

After eight months, she was allowed wash herself for the first time since entering the house.

“When I sat there and looked at myself in the mirror...I saw a bruised and battered girl...the only thing I could see on my body was dirt. I saw somebody else.”

She recounted how Ms Knight tricked her to enter his home, by telling her that there were puppies in his house.

“That’s when I went in the house and he told me the puppies were upstairs. That was a little eerie to me.”

“He told me that I didn’t have to worry, there was nothing going to happen. But I still had the eerie feeling, and it was already too late, I was already upstairs.”

“At that point he shut the door, and that’s when I spent 11 years in that house.”

“I fell straight to the floor. My legs were numb. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t even scream. The only thing I could do was cry,” she said.

Castro (53), died by suicide when he was serving a life sentence in prison for the kidnap of the three women.

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