Crime

Prosecutors: Rock Hill neighbor had secret sex attic where he molested brothers

A web developer and church volunteer - arrested two weeks ago on charges he molested two brothers several years ago who were his neighbors - built a secret sex chamber in his attic, prosecutors alleged in court Monday.

On at least one occasion, the Rock Hill man tied up one of the boys during sex acts that included oral sex on the night before the defendant was to be married, prosecutors said.

Yet the family and lawyer for Julio Andres “Andy” Castillo claims the 34-year-old former mentor to children at York Place and volunteer at Rock Hill’s Episcopal Church of Our Saviour, is innocent and looks forward to “defending his good name” against the allegations that are as much as a decade old.

Castillo was charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor under age 11 first degree; one count of criminal sexual conduct with a minor second degree where the victim is between 11 and 14; and one count of lewd act on a child between ages 14 and 16. Castillo faces up to life in prison if convicted on the first-degree offense.

Castillo’s wife, who is expected to give birth to their second child within days, defended him in court Monday, asking that Castillo be given bond. Kathryn Castillo told Judge John C. Hayes III of her husband: “I need him - I love him and I trust him.”

The stunning details were revealed Monday because Castillo had been jailed without bond since his Feb. 29 arrest. In court, prosecutor Erin Joyner said Castillo preyed on the victims - brothers now ages 18 and 20 - who live just two doors away from Castillo in Rock Hill. Castillo was so close with the boys’ parents that he had keys to their home and took trips with them. Yet the closeness was a ruse Castillo used to perform oral sex and masturbation with the boys, climb into bed with them on trips, and invite them to his home for sex in the secret attic, Joyner said.

The attic, with an opening through the ceiling of another room available only by ladder, featured a bed with rings underneath it for ropes to be tied to, Joyner said, and rope was found in a drawer in the attic.

“Sometimes (Castillo) would tie up his (the older boy) arms and legs during sexual abuse,” Joyner said in court.

The abuse including different sex acts and “strange massages” Joyner said. Joyner also described Castillo as a gun lover who kept a cache of weapons in his home and also carried a pistol around Rock Hill.

The parents of the boys found Castillo in bed with the boys on a trip to the South Carolina coast, but chalked it up to Castillo’s “quirky personality” before Castillo was married, Joyner said in court.

And then in 2009, the night before Castillo was married, he sexually assaulted one of the boys, Joyner said. Hours later the boys’ father, unaware, stood up for Castillo during his wedding.

The Herald does not name alleged victims of sexual assault. The parents were identified in court, but The Herald is not identifying them because it would identify the accusers.

The parents of the two alleged victims spoke in court about the “betrayal” by neighbor and friend Castillo. The father spoke emotionally about the range of emotions, from sadness, to hurt, to violation after Castillo took the boys to soccer, basketball, church choir and more.

“They were children,” the father said. “They did not ask for this. They did not deserve this.”

The alleged victims’ mother said in court that finding Castillo in bed with her sons was “odd,” but the family, so close to Castillo, “explained it away as (Castillo’s) loneliness.”

“Please do not give him an opportunity to harm another child,” the mother told Judge Hayes.

Prosecutors balked at Castillo walking out of jail, calling Castillo a threat to children and the community and a flight risk to Chile where Castillo has ties and family. And Castillo’s supporters said he is a well-respected businessman and volunteer with no record until his arrest.

The boys told police in January about the allegations and after a two-month investigation that includes pictures that show the attic, Castillo was arrested. Yet Castillo had more than two-dozen supporters in court Monday including family, friends, his employer and others. Many stood as a show of support during the hearing.

The mother said the families became acquainted through church, where Castillo had been a youth volunteer at both the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour and at York Place, where troubled children received counseling and other services before it closed in November. Castillo, who graduated from Northwestern High School in 1999 and then the University of South Carolina, was a technical officer and manager at his job. He was described by his employer, William Sturgis, as a “wonderful person” who is highly respected in the community.

Jamieson, the defense lawyer, scoffed at the notion Castillo is either a threat to others or a flight risk. Castillo has never been accused by anyone of anything else before, and computers seized and searched contained no evidence.

Judge Hayesgranted an $80,000 bond with conditions that Castillo have no contact with any children other than his own, surrender all his weapons to police, and surrender his passport. Bond was posted late Monday afternoon and he was released.

While on bond, Castillo can only leave South Carolina to be with his wife for the birth of the child in Charlotte.

No trial date has yet been set.

Andrew Dys: 803-329-4065

Follow Andrew Dys on Twitter @AndrewDysHerald

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