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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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July 26th, 2013
06:56 PM ET

Community exhales after Castro's plea deal

Ariel Castro agreed to a plea deal Friday morning involving over 900 charges he faced in connection with the kidnapping, rape and abuse of three Cleveland women.

In exchange for taking the death penalty off the table, the deal would send Castro to jail with a life sentence plus 1,000 years with no chance of parole.

Castro agrees to life plus 1,000 years

Admitting his guilt to every charge read by the judge, Castro also said that he was abused as a child.

"Its just a very sad, really tragic cycle that you see over and over again," said Allison Leotta, a former federal sex crimes prosecutor. "That said, most [victims] don't grow up to be Ariel Castro."

Cleveland kidnappings fast facts

Castro's three victims were "relieved" by the plea agreement, according to a statement released by their legal representation.

Because of the agreement, the women will no longer have to face Castro in court. The Cleveland home that served as their prison will also be demolished.

"[Community members] are so tired of seeing the house, they say it's an eyesore," said Lydia Espara, anchor and reporter who has covered the case extensively for WOIO 19 Action News in Cleveland.

"They're so upset over him and that house, so certainly when it comes down, I'm sure there's going to be a celebration," Espara said.

Castro will be sentenced on August 1.

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