An employee who worked for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) was sentenced last week in connection with his plea of no contest to charges of possessing and distributing child pornography. Carlos Enrique Castillo, 55, was ordered to register as a sex offender for life and complete 52 weeks of sex offender counseling in addition to serving five years of probation and forfeiting devices in exchange for a suspended two-year prison sentence for his crimes.
Castillo pled no contest to five felony counts of distribution of obscene matter and one felony count of possession of child pornography for allegedly having more than 600 images of child or youth pornography. He was a DCFS employee for a six-month period, beginning in October 2017, when he was alleged to have sent video and images of child pornography on his personal computer. Authorities found additional images on his computer, which led to the charge of possession. Prior to sentencing, Castillo faced up to eight years and four months in prison for the crimes he was charged with in Los Angeles County Court.
California Child Pornography Law
Being accused of possessing or distributing child pornography or any other child pornography crime, can be absolutely devastating to your personal and professional life. Even the mere suggestion of child pornography charges can affect your job, your family, and your reputation, so it is critical that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side during this time.
Under California law, child pornography laws make it illegal to send, transport, duplicate, print, exchange, advertise, or otherwise possess child pornography. In addition, it is a crime to hire or persuade minors under the age of 18 years to participate in the production of child pornography. Depending on the charge, child pornography crimes can be prosecuted as either misdemeanor or felony offenses, but even more minor misdemeanor charges can substantially alter your life. Misdemeanor child pornography offenses can include a jail term up to one year and thousands of dollars in fines. Felony offenses can include a state prison term between 16 months and eight years for each offense as well as fines up to $100,000.
Legal Defenses to Child Pornography Charges
There are many legal defenses to child pornography charges that an expert criminal defense attorney will be able to bring on your behalf. Some of the most common legal defenses include police entrapment, lack of knowledge or intent, false accusations, and illegal search and seizure. In cases in which the offending images or video was found on a work or public device, such as a computer or phone where multiple people have access, another employee or person could have accessed and possessed the child pornography on your device. Do not hesitate to talk to a criminal defense attorney if accused of a child pornography crime.
Call or Contact Us Today to Speak to a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or someone you know has been accused of possession or distribution of child pornography in the Beverly Hills area, call or contact the Law Office of Bradley S. Sandler today.