Springfield Man Convicted of Sex Trafficking a Minor He Solicited Over Facebook
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
BOSTON – A Springfield man has been convicted by a federal jury for sex trafficking of a minor under 14 years old.
Carlos Casillas, 51, was convicted on July 14, 2023 following a three-day jury trial of one count of sex trafficking of a minor. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled by the court.
In September 2021, an investigation began into Casillas for sex trafficking activity involving a 13-year-old girl living in a group home in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. Evidence presented at trial established that Casillas solicited the minor victim using Facebook messenger, picked the minor victim up from her group home and eventually took her to a local motel.
“Carlos Casillas preyed on a vulnerable 13-year-old girl in state custody. His conduct was beyond horrific and now he will face the lengthy sentence of incarceration the law requires for sex trafficking of a minor. This office and the incredibly dedicated federal, state and local law enforcement partners we work with will never cease in our efforts to protect children from sexual exploitation,” said Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy.
“Casillas preyed upon a child in a vulnerable situation. Now, he has been convicted of trafficking a minor and is facing a significant federal sentence. Homeland Security Investigations works every day to bring predators like Casillas to justice and to help connect victims to assistance to heal and move forward,” said Michael J. Krol, Acting Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations in New England.
Members of the public who believe they, or someone they know, may be a victim of this crime should contact USAMA.VictimAssistance@usdoj.gov. If you or someone you know may be impacted or experiencing commercial sex trafficking, please visit https://polarisproject.org/ for information and resources.
The charge of sex trafficking of a minor under 14 years old provides for a sentence of at least 15 years in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
Acting U.S. Attorney Levy; HSI Acting SAC Krol; Hampden County District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni; Hampden County Sheriff Nicholas Cocchi; and West Springfield Police Chief Ronald Campurciani made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Catherine G. Curley and Deepika Bains Shukla of the Springfield Branch Office prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit https://www.justice.gov/psc.
Updated July 17, 2023