Crime & Courts Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Charlie H. Castillo wants to withdraw guilty plea after admitting role in prostituting teen in Augusta

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 4:44 PM
Last updated 7:36 PM
  • Follow Crime & courts

An Augusta man who pleaded guilty to his role in prostituting a teenage girl told a judge Tuesday he’s really not guilty.

Charlie H. Castillo, 32, insisted on testifying Tuesday in U.S. District Court against the advice of his attorney and the judge’s words of caution.

Castillo’s attorney, Michael C. Garrett, filed the motion to withdraw Castillo’s guilty plea at his client’s request. Such a motion is rarely successful in federal courts where judges employ an extensive discussion with defendants when they enter guilty pleas.

Senior U.S. Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr. followed the same pattern when Castillo pleaded guilty on Jan. 13 to conspiracy to engage in the sex trafficking of a minor.

But Tuesday, Castillo insisted he misunderstood his plea because he thought it was illegal to operate an escort service that provided companionship, not sex. That’s why he pleaded guilty, Castillo said, but then he found out it isn’t illegal to operate a legitimate escort service.

At the January hearing, however, FBI Special Agent Charles McKee testified that Castillo developed a script for a 16-year-old girl to use when she went on “dates.” There is no question she was to engage in sex, McKee testified.

The judge took the motion under advisement and will issue his ruling in an order.

If Bowen denies the motion, or grants it and Castillo is later convicted of the charge, his punishment could be enhanced by his quest to withdraw his plea. In federal court, defendants who plead guilty are given sentencing reductions for acceptance of responsibility.

Castillo has other legal trouble. He is now under indictment in federal court facing two counts of kidnapping, three counts of assault and one count of attempted escape. According to the indictment, Castillo is accused of holding two Lincoln County Jail guards against their will, and assaulting them and a third guard during an escape attempt on March 25.

Castillo has pleaded not guilty to those charges, which are punishable by as much as life in prison.

In the sex trafficking case, Daniels, William W. Hart, Heather L. Hedrick and Allison Barnes also pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

Comments (5) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
nocnoc 07/08/14 - 06:52 pm

He was selling her TIME
not her Hind.

carcraft 07/08/14 - 08:31 pm
Don't sell her time if you

Don't sell her time if you think it's a crime!

corgimom 07/08/14 - 11:13 pm
It isn't funny when a 16 year

It isn't funny when a 16 year old girl is prostituted out, ever.

And why anybody would think this is a humorous situation is beyond me.

AFjoe 07/09/14 - 06:57 am
Here come the judge..

Dudley do right.

nocnoc 07/09/14 - 08:38 am
C-Mom I agree you are right when looking at that way.

But the humor was directed at the GUY and the legal defense he will use, not the girl.

I for one would like for the AC to interview the girl and see how she came to, or was forced into this role. It would make a great background story.

Since 16 is the age of consent in Ga this likely 1 of the reason it is being handled by the Fed's which use the age of 18.

In GA, 50 years ago, the guy would never have made it to the jail
If he did it would have been a toss up between a dead penalty and Life at Hard Labor.

But Ga. is now a kinder and gentler and more understanding State in regards to its increasing number of prisoners now known as Adult Detainees.

I for one, like the old application of Punishment ,
over the NEW AGE PC version of....

A Time to reflect on ones crimes.

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs
Top headlines
AU professor doing research on Gulf War health disparities
An Augusta University professor is being funded to do research on the health disparities of female veterans involved in the first Gulf War compared to their male counterparts.