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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

Monday, September 14, 2015

Navajo Man from Yatahey, N.M., Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Sexual Abuse Charges

Plea Agreement Requires Imposition of 20 Year Prison Sentence Prosecution Pursued Under Project Safe Childhood

ALBUQUERQUE – David Castillo, 38, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Yatahey, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a felony information charging him with two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Castillo will be sentenced to 20 years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.  Castillo also will be required to register as a sex offender.

Castillo was arrested May 17, 2015, on a two-count indictment charging him with aggravated sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12 on a date between May 1, 2006 and Sept. 4, 2006, and again on a date between Dec. 20, 2006 and Jan. 8, 2007, in Indian Country in McKinley County, N.M.

During today’s change of plea hearing, Castillo pled guilty to a two-count felony information charging him with aggravated sexual abuse.  In entering his guilty plea, Castillo admitted sexually assaulting the victim in the summer of 2006, when the victim was eight years old.  He also admitted sexually assaulting the victim over the Christmas holiday in 2006, when the victim was nine years old.  According to the plea agreement, Castillo sexually assaulted the victim five times during the periods of time and that the he committed the crimes on the Navajo Indian Reservation.

Castillo has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Gallup office of the FBI and the New Mexico State Police and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Mease.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and DOJ’s Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated September 14, 2015