You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Washington

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Former Liberty Lake Pastor Sentenced to Five Years In Federal Prison For Distributing Child Pornography

Spokane - Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Lonnie W. Castillo, age 49, of Liberty Lake, Washington, was sentenced today after having previously pleaded guilty to distribution of child pornography. United States District Court Judge Fremming Nielsen sentenced Castillo to a five year term of imprisonment, to be followed by a life term of court supervision after he is released from Federal prison. In addition, Castillo was ordered to forfeit the computer and digital storage media he used to distribute and possess the child pornography.

According to information disclosed during the court proceedings, Castillo had been a pastor for over 15 years at the Liberty Lake Community Church and had also been a former YMCA Spokane Valley swim coach. United States Secret Service agents executed a federal search warrant at Castillo's residence in Liberty Park, Washington. The Secret Service agents discovered Castillo was in possession of 37 images and six videos of child pornography. The investigation revealed that Castillo was sharing images of child pornography with other individuals via the Internet. The images Castillo was distributing to others contained file names"pdo", "preteen", "underage", 5yo", "6yo", and "7yo", which are consistent with child

Michael C. Ormsby stated, "The United States Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Washington is, and will continue to be, committed to prosecuting aggressively and seeking appropriate punishment for child pornography crimes. Prosecuting these types of crimes is particularly important because of the age of the innocent victims."

This case was pursued as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the United States Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. The Project Safe Childhood (PSC) Initiative has five major components:

  • Integrated federal, state, and local efforts to investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases, and to identify and rescue child victims;
  • Participation of PSC partners in coordinated national initiatives;
  • Increased federal enforcement in child pornography and enticement cases;
  • Training of federal, state, and local law enforcement agents; and
  • Community awareness and educational programs.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit . For information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

This investigation was conducted United States Secret Service and the Spokane County Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Stephanie J. Lister, an Assistant United States Attorney and PSC Coordinator for the Eastern District of Washington.


Updated January 29, 2015