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Michelle Knight Forgives Ariel Castro Despite Being Raped and Beaten Until She Lost Five Babies

( [email protected] ) May 08, 2014 09:20 PM EDT
Michelle Knight, one of the three women captured and held hostage by Ariel Castro, says she forgives him despite the years of unspeakable torment she experienced at his hands.
Michelle Knight, one of Ariel Castro's victims, says she forgives him despite all the pain he put her through. www.abcnews.com

In an act of incredible grace and compassion, one of Ariel Castro's victims says she forgives him despite all the torture he put her through.

Michelle Knight, one of the three women kidnapped by Castro, was repeatedly raped, tortured, and beat by him until she lost all five babies she conceived during her imprisonment.

"If I did something wrong, even if it was a small thing, I would want somebody to forgive me, so I can forgive him for what he [has] done wrong, because that's the way of life," Knight told NBC Today.

"He was a human being, and every human being needs to be loved, even though they did something wrong," she continued.

Knight was 21 when she was captured, spending 11 years in Castro's Cleveland, Ohio home.

According to her memoir, Finding Me, Castro kept the Knight and two other women starved and bound in chains. Knight reveals that when the women became pregnant, he beat them until they miscarried. "Reliving it," she said, is the "hardest part to do."

Ariel Castro committed suicide on September 3, hanging himself with a bed sheet inside his cell at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio shortly after being sentenced to "life plus 1,000 years."

However, Knight said the news of Castro's death gave her anything but joy.

"I was saddened by it but also confused at the same time," she stated. "Like, why would he hurt his children like that? Why would he leave them?" Castro fathered one child with Berry, their six-year-old daughter, Jocelyn. Shortly after the women's release, police began searching the area for the bodies of the unborn babies Castro had murdered.

Abortion supporters were unhappy at the idea of Castro being convicted for the death of the babies.  Daily Beast editor Michelle Goldberg said the miscarriages "aren't murder," and if he were convicted of murder, it would be "an injustice."

Upon his arrest, Castro blamed his actions on his porn addiction. "My addiction to pornography and my sexual problem has taken a toll on my mind. I was victim as a child, and it just kept going," he told Cuyahoga County Judge Michael Russo.

Knight was set free on May 6, 2013, nearly a year ago, when one of the captured women called 911.  The anniversary recalls painful memories for Knight, who calls it "just a day I wish would go past."

However, she survived due to her strong faith in God and the hope that she would see her son Joey again, who was adopted during her captivity.

"I'm very proud of him for all the accomplishments he has achieved" she stated.

Knight has changed her name to Lilly, a name she feels symbolizes a renewing of life.

"I would want everybody to know I'm doing just fine, and everything is really exciting right now," she concluded.