Serial kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro had already accepted a plea deal for life without parole before yesterday's sentencing hearing. Agreeing to that term and an additional 1000 years rather than gamble with a possible death verdict.
So there were no courtroom surprises in store for the world's "worst sexual predator" to date, save, perhaps, for being confronted by his most battered victim.
An emotional Michelle Knight made a courageous appearance in the proceeding, bearing witness against her now-shackled abuser and warning him that while her and her fellow captives' nightmare had finally ended, his hell "is just beginning."
She's right about this too, because child rapists, kidnappers and killers have a tough time once incarcerated, viewed by their prison mates as the lowest of the low, even among other murderers and sex offenders.
In fact, many such inmates are slain behind bars in assassination plots hatched well in advance of their integration with the general population. So Castro can expect a similarly harrowing prison experience, although, in his own eyes, he really isn't a bad guy after all, nor violent...
Standing unmoved and remorseless during sentencing, a bespectacled Ariel Castro once again conveyed his firm belief that he "is not a monster" but rather just a harmless, "sick man" with a "porn addiction."
Those proclamations fly in the face of his confession and recent plea deal though, as well as the mountain of evidence which eventually led to his 937-count indictment for abduction, assault, sexual assault, and murder.
The defendant's unapologetic statement, delivered in a calculatingly beseeching tone, belies a criminal attitude that seemed to enrage the presiding judge, but which isn't that uncommon for perps as incurably deviant as Castro is.
This brand of violent sociopath can distort reality with relative ease, even to the degree where hundreds of vicious rapes and beatings, committed against defenseless victims held in bondage, can all become "consensual."
Coincidentally, that same perverse perspective was embraced by criminal justice officials for centuries, and even today the state of Ohio, from Steubenville to Cleveland, is grappling with an alarmingly high rate of violence against women.
A dangerous situation for Ohio's female citizenry in general, and one greatly exacerbated by law enforcement's historically wanton approach in guaranteeing the "weaker sex" equal protection.