Former Belen police detective sentenced to 25 years in prison
Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler announced that former Portales Police Officer Victor Castillo, age 46, was sentenced this week to 25 years in prison for an ongoing sexual relationship he developed with a Portales High School student when he was assigned as a school resource officer.
Castillo was a former Belen police detective and left the department two years ago.
Castillo pleaded guilty to one count of criminal sexual penetration of a minor, one count of criminal sexual contact of a minor, 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a child, and two counts of sexual exploitation of a child by manufacturing.
In 2012, Castillo was assigned to the Portales Schools as a school resource officer. While on duty, he met a 16-year-old female student and exchanged cellular phone numbers with her.
From that day forward, he developed a personal relationship with her that eventually led to him driving his marked police car, while in a police uniform, to the victim’s home where he would perform sexual acts on the victim.
Throughout the summer of 2012, Castillo also sent sexually graphic pictures of himself to the victim through text messages. One evening in July 2012, he invited the victim and two of her friends over to his house, where he provided dinner and alcohol to the minors. The following day, Castillo’s conduct was reported to Portales police.
On July 13, 2012, the Portales Police Department terminated Castillo, and called on the New Mexico State Police to start an investigation into the criminal allegations.
In August 2013, New Mexico State Police, along with assistance from agents of the Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, served a search warrant on Castillo’s residence and placed him under arrest.
“As a police officer assigned to the schools, Castillo was supposed to shepherd the flock, protect our children”, said District Attorney Matthew Chandler at the sentencing hearing Monday. “However, in reality, he was the predator. He took his authority and position and used it to manipulate and destroy the most vulnerable and innocent.”
District Judge Donna J. Mowrer presided over the sentencing hearing.
After Castillo serves his prison sentence of 25 years, he will serve up to an additional 20 years of supervised parole and must register and will be tracked as a sex offender for life.