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Ariel Castro Update: Cleveland kidnapper to learn fate during Thursday sentencing hearing

Kidnapping suspect Ariel Castro, accused in the abduction of three women recently freed in Cleveland, Ohio, is seen in a mugshot photo, May 9, 2013. Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department

Ariel Castro enters the courtroom Friday July 26, 2013, in Cleveland, Ohio, where he pleaded guilty to more than 900 counts in the kidnapping and rape of three young women.
AP Photo/Tony Dejak

(CBS/AP) Ariel Castro, the man accused of holding three women captive in his Cleveland home for about a decade, will learn his fate as he is sentenced in an Ohio courtroom Thursday.

PICTURES: Ohio women missing for nearly a decade found alive

Castro is expected to make a statement to the court, his attorney told CBS affiliate WOIO. One of the victims is also set to testify and face her kidnapper, a source told CBS News.

Castro pleaded guilty July 26 to 937 counts, including rape, kidnapping, aggravated murder and assault, accepting a plea deal that spared him from the death penalty. Prosecutors recommended a sentence of life in prison plus an additional 1,000 years.

A judge will determine Thursday whether or not to accept the sentence.

An evidentiary hearing is set to happen before the sentencing, during which investigators will present much of the evidence from the case, WOIO reported.

Prosecutors plan to bring in to court the chains they say Castro used to restrain the three women and a gun they say he used to threaten them, the source tells CBS News.

Prosecutors also plan to display the potties they say the women were forced to use and a door from the house, the source told CBS News.

Experts may also testify during the hearing and will provide written reports to the court on topics such as Stockholm Syndrome, a psychological condition in which hostages sympathize with their captors, according to the source.

The three women, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight, disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004. They were rescued after Berry kicked in a screen door and yelled to neighbors for help in May.

Many horrific details of the women's ordeal have already emerged, including tales of being chained to poles in the basement or a bedroom heater or inside a van, with one woman forced to wear a motorcycle helmet while chained in the basement and, after she tried to escape, having a vacuum cord wrapped around her neck.

Castro repeatedly starved and beat one of the victims each time she was pregnant, forcing her to miscarry five times.

He forced the same woman on threat of death to safely deliver the child he fathered with another victim on Christmas Day 2006.

The same day, prosecutors say, Castro raped the woman who helped deliver his daughter.

Prosecutors will ask the judge to prohibit Castro from ever seeing his daughter, now 6.

Castro so terrified the women that the day they were rescued, two of the victims were initially afraid to emerge even with five police officers in the house, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty said. When they did, they clung to police so tightly the officers couldn't use their flashlights, he said.

"That told me what fear this man put into these women and how much courage it took to survive this ordeal," McGinty said.

He also referred to the "mental and physical bond and barrier" that the first woman who escaped, Amanda Berry, had the courage to break.

McGinty hinted last week at some of the conditions found inside the house, including keeping the lights turned off and using curtains as sound barriers.

Berry, 27, made a surprise onstage appearance at a rap concert last weekend, and DeJesus, 23, made a few televised comments as a privacy fence was being erected around her house. Michelle Knight, 32, appeared with Berry and DeJesus in a video in early July thanking the community for their support.

Complete coverage of the Cleveland kidnapping case on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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