Amherst man gets 5-6 years for sexual assaults on a child

Staff Writer
Thursday, February 16, 2023

NORTHAMPTON — An Amherst man was sentenced to five to six years in state prison Monday after being convicted last week of five counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and witness intimidation.

Judge Richard Carey sentenced Jorge Castillo, 41, to prison, with five years probation to follow, after hearing arguments from the prosecutor and defense attorney, as well as a statement from the victim, in Hampshire Superior Court.

Assistant District Attorney Andrew Covington asked the judge to impose a sentence of six to eight years for Castillo’s “horrific” sexual assault crimes on a child, carried out over 2½ years between 2013 and 2015.

The victim, who was 10 when the assaults began, told the court she was a “shy kid” who was traumatized by the abuse.

“It made me feel I had to keep all my emotions inside,” she said. “My happiness was taken from me as a child.”

Carey offered a response from the bench he said he tries to give to all victims in such cases.

“You did nothing wrong,” he said. “As you work through the harm that was done to you, I hope you remember that.”

Defense attorney Alfred Chamberland asked the judge to sentence his client to 2½ years in jail, followed by five years of probation. He said conditions of probation, which include registering as a sex offender, having no contact with a child under 16 outside of his own family, and staying away from the victim and her sister who was a witness, would ensure the safety of the victim and the community.

Chamberland noted that Castillo, an immigrant from El Salvador who has lived in Amherst since coming to the U.S. at the age of 17, had family support and no record of crimes against people until now.

Carey agreed to recommend that Castillo serve his sentence at the Hampshire House of Correction, though that decision is up to the Department of Correction.

Outside court, Covington said he appreciated the hard work of the trial jury, which deliberated for three days before returning with its verdicts. While finding Castillo guilty on five counts of indecent assault, the jury deadlocked on three other counts. Covington said the state and the victim have not yet decided if they will retry Castillo on those counts.

“We’re satisfied with the sentence, and the victim is, too,” he said.