For his victims, Thursday was roughly a decade in coming.
That's when Ariel Castro learned his fate for abducting and raping three women -- Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus -- over a period of approximately 10 years.
He pleaded guilty last week to 937 counts in a deal that eliminated the possibility of the death penalty.
For a man who sought to control the lives of others, the sentencing hearing was a stark reminder of how fortunes can change.
Castro, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, sat handcuffed at the defendant's table. He was told he would spend the rest of his life behind bars.
In contrast, his victims -- one of whom addressed the court and two of whom did so through representatives -- spoke about their new-found freedom.
The script was flipped.
Here's a look at five extraordinary moments from court:
1. Castro gets millennium in prison; judge hails victims who "have persevered"
Judge Michael Russo did not mince words when he handed down Castro's sentence, amounting to life in prison plus 1,000 years.
"Sir, there's no place in this city. There is no place in this country. Indeed, there is no place in this world for those who enslave others," he said.
Contrary to the defendant's testimony, Russo characterized Castro as a "victimizer," not a victim.
"You made them slaves and you treated them as if they were not people, that they were just sex objects," the judge said.
"You don't deserve to be out in our community. You're too dangerous because in your mind, you're a victim, again, as opposed to those who actually did suffer."
Castro interrupted Russo periodically to argue certain points. He took issue with being described as a "violent sexual predator."
Russo claimed Castro was capable of choosing who he victimized, and elected to take advantage of young women.
"You felt you were dominating them but you were incorrect. You could not take away their dignity," he said.
"Although they suffered terribly, Ms. Knight, Ms. DeJesus and Ms. Berry did not give up hope. They have persevered.
"In fact, they prevailed. These remarkable women again have their freedom, which is the most precious aspect of being an American.
"Mr. Castro you forfeited that right. You now become a number with the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. You will be confined for the remainder of your days."
2. Knight speaks defiantly, eloquently: "Years turned into eternity"
Knight was the only one of Castro's victims to speak directly in court.
Flanked by her attorneys, she painted a damning portrait of her former captor and rapist, and touched on the time she spent under his roof.
"I cried every night. I was so alone," she said, wiping tears from her face.
"I worried about what would happen to me and the other girls every day," Knight said.