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'You will face hell for eternity'

One of three women kidnapped and repeatedly raped for a decade before their escape has told her abductor that her life is just beginning while his is over now that he has been sentenced to life in prison.

Michelle Knight stood just feet away from Ariel Castro in a Cleveland courtroom, the first time she has been seen publicly since her rescue from the house where she was held captive.

"You took 11 years of my life away and I have got it back," she told Castro. "I spent 11 years in hell. Now your hell is just beginning. I will overcome all this that has happened, but you will face hell for eternity."

Ms Knight, 32, did not face Castro as she spoke, but he glanced towards her several times after she entered the courtroom. She said she cried every night and that her years in captivity "turned into eternity".

She was the only one of the victims to speak at the hearing. Relatives of the other two read statements on their behalf.

She was the first woman abducted by Castro in 2002 after he lured her into his house with the promise of a puppy for her son. Castro has pleaded guilty to charges that he repeatedly raped her and two other victims, and also forced her to miscarry after he impregnated her.

At the hearing, prosecutors detailed Castro's assaults and law enforcement witnesses described the jury-rigged prison he built in his ramshackle home.

Prosecutors used a model of the house where Castro, 53, imprisoned the women to present their case. They also showed photos taken from inside the home.

The women quickly escaped after Amanda Berry kicked out the door panel on May 6 and Castro was arrested within hours. The women disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old.

Ms Berry, 27, made a surprise onstage appearance at a rap concert last weekend, and a second victim, Gina DeJesus, 23, has made a few televised comments.

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