Farmington man convicted of child abuse

Steve Garrison
Leo Castillo Jr.

FARMINGTON — A Farmington man was convicted by a jury on Tuesday on 21 counts of first-degree criminal sexual penetration of a child and faces a maximum sentence of 390 years in prison.

Leo Castillo Jr., 45, was also convicted on one count of attempted criminal sexual penetration of a child, a second-degree felony, and intimidation of a witness, a third-degree felony, during his trial, which started Monday.

Castillo will face between 18 and 390 years in prison at a sentencing hearing, which has not been scheduled, according to San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien.

In a separate case, Shawn Paris was sentenced Monday to 30 years in prison for his July conviction on child sexual abuse charges, according to court records.

Shawn Curtis Paris

Castillo was arrested Feb. 15 after a young relative told a middle school teacher she had been sexually abused by Castillo, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

The girl told investigators the abuse began when she was 6 years old at the family's residence in Farmington, the affidavit states. She said Castillo entered her room one night, pulled down her clothes and raped her, according to the affidavit. She told investigators that Castillo told her if she ever told anyone about the abuse, he would beat her and her brother, the affidavit states.

The girl told investigators the abuse continued until April 2013, when she stopped visiting Castillo's residence, according to the affidavit.

Castillo was interviewed by detectives in February 2016, and declined to make a statement about the abuse.

O'Brien said Castillo and the victim testified during the trial.

Castillo's attorney, Cosme Ripol, said today both Judge Karen Townsend and prosecutor Marcus Blais performed their jobs well.

"(The judge) allowed me to get out all the evidence and arguments that I wanted to make, and the jury made its decision," Ripol said.

The defense attorney said he would appeal the decision.

In the other case, Paris, 42, of San Juan County, was convicted during a July 20 jury trial of two counts of criminal sexual contact and one count of criminal sexual penetration for the sexual abuse of a female relative who was a minor.

He entered an Alford plea on Monday to criminal sexual penetration of a child, a second-degree felony, according to court records.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644.