ANOTHER EXCLUSIVE: Exactly a year to the day after he was arrested, a married ex-con from Queens was sentenced to 5½ years in prison for exposing himself and trying to arrange meetings for sex with a 6-year-old girl during online conversations with an undercover detective.
Daniel Castro (MUGSHOT: Bergen Prosecutor)
Superior Court Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi cited Daniel Castro’s history of prior crimes for the sentence, which resulted from a plea bargain.
“The case was on for trial and you, at the last minute, decided to take the plea offer,” the judge told Castro, who turns 44 next Friday. If convicted at trial, she told him, “you would have been facing considerable time.
“This is actually your third conviction,” DeAvila-Silebi added. “There is an aggravating factor, and then you are likely to commit a similar crime again.
“There is a need to deter you and others from committing these types of crimes. Your victims are small children, the most vulnerable members of society, and that is another aggravating factor.”
Castro admitted that he used screen names that included “m4yourdaughter” in attempting to meet “Maria” – actually, an undercover officer who posed as the mother of “Angie,” a 6-year-old girl.
“He exposed himself to the purported child and made arrangements to meet the child for the purpose of having sexual relations,” Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said after the arrest.
Castro made several meeting attempts in Ramsey and Paramus, beginning June 14, 2011, before investigators from Molinelli’s Computer Crimes Task Force moved in eight days later, the prosecutor said.
Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Brian Sinclair, who handled the case, argued for a severe sentence.
He cited Castro’s prior crimes and his “frankly, quite-candid responses” when being questioned by investigators.
“I sincerely hope that Mr. Castro opens up and deals with some of these issues. He has referred to demons,” Sinclair said.
DeAvila-Silebi sentenced Castro to serve his sentence at the high-security Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Avenel, where, she told him, he could “get the treatment you need.”
Under the No Early Release Act, he must serve at least 56 months of the 66-month term.
That will be followed by three years of supervised release and registration as a Megan’s Law offender, under state statutes. The judge also fined Castro $1,955.
Molinelli cited help from the Fort Lee, Ramsey and Ridgewood police departments in making the case.
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