Cleveland rapist Castro found dead in cell – reports

In this file photo, Ariel Castro (L) talks with his lawyer during a break in his trial on August 1, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. Angelo Merendino/Getty Images/AFP

In this file photo, Ariel Castro (L) talks with his lawyer during a break in his trial on August 1, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Angelo Merendino/Getty Images/AFP

WASHINGTON DC, USA (UPDATED) - Ariel Castro, sentenced to life in prison for holding three young women captive and raping them for a decade, has been found dead in his prison cell, news reports said.

CBS television and other US news outlets reported that the former Cleveland, Ohio school bus driver, who was sentenced to life in prison last month, was found dead in his cell late Tuesday, September 3.

The 53-year-old Castro was found hanging in his cell and officials tried but failed to resuscitate him, according to a statement from the Ohio Department of Corrections, according to TV station KTLA of Los Angeles.

At his sentencing hearing August 1, Castro had insisted he was not evil but rather addicted to sex.

"I'm not a monster. I'm sick," he pleaded.

Despite having pleaded guilty to 977 charges related to his victims' brutal decade-long ordeal, including many rapes and the murder of a fetus through beating its mother, Castro said he was not a violent man.

Castro said he had himself been sexually abused as a child and had grown up obsessed with sex, addicted to pornography and a compulsive masturbator.

He said he had not plotted the three kidnaps, but had acted on impulse.

"I am not a monster. I am a normal person. I am just sick. I have an addiction just like an alcoholic has an addiction," he said. - Rappler.com