Ariel Castro, the Cleveland man who held three women captive for a decade, acknowledged during his sentencing hearing on Thursday that he played Russian roulette with the victims.
Prosecutors said he gave the women an unloaded revolver before pressing it against his head and telling them to pull the trigger, according to a live feed of his sentencing hearing.
“I don’t recall it … if the girls said it happened, it probably happened,” he told the FBI, according to a local official.
The prosecution also presented a model outline of his home, which was modified to keep the three women–Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight, and Gina DeJesus–inside and prevent outsiders from knowing his secret.
They also used diary entries from the three women to describe the torturous conditions in which they were held. Around 90 pounds of chains used to hold the women were recovered from his home.
“There were a number of modifications to the interior of the home to fortify certain areas,” said FBI Special Agent Andrew Burke, reported NBC. “There were divisions between spaces in the house that were again designed not only to make the house more secure for its occupants but also to hide, I think, the existence of additional rooms in the house.”
He added: “It was surreal to me. I had been involved in the missing persons investigations for quite some time,” according to CNN.
Castro last week pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal to avoid the death penalty. He will get life in prison and an additional 1,000 years.
“All three of them looked fairly gaunt, all three of them related that they had been allowed minimal time outside the house at all,” Dr. Gerald Maloney, who received the women at a local hospital, said. “They related information regarding sexual assaults to us and also to the sexual assault nurse examiner.”
Officer Barbara Johnson, who was among the first to find the women, recalled her experience.
Knight “literally launched herself,” she said, adding that the woman said, “And she just kept repeating, ‘you saved us, you saved us,” according to CNN.
Castro abducted the three women between 2002 and 2004. He was sentenced to life in jail without the possibility of parole on August 1.