ANGOLA — Steuben Circuit Court Judge Allen Wheat stared sternly at Moses Jose Castillo before sentencing him.
Castillo, 43, a former Fremont High School cross country coach, pleaded guilty to child seduction in April and was sentenced Monday afternoon to two years behind bars and four years probation.
It was the maximum sentence allowed under a plea agreement reached by Steuben County Prosecutor Jeremy Musser and Castillo’s legal team.
Castillo was taken directly to Steuben County Jail in shackles from the Steuben County Courthouse.
Before rendering his sentence, Wheat noted that Castillo held a position of trust with the victim and “put her life through a living hell for years.” After hearing her statement Monday in court, Wheat said he believes the victim has risen above her trauma — “never to be contacted by anyone such as yourself again.”
Wheat enunciated the words slowly, his eyes fixed on Castillo. The court hushed in the pause that followed as Wheat’s stare continued.
A number of people attended the hearing, supporters of both the victim and Castillo. The victim and her mother read letters to the court. Fort Wayne psychologist Dr. David Lombard and Castillo’s ex-wife spoke on his behalf.
Wheat said the only reason he accepted the plea agreement — which called for a cap of two years served and four other felony charges dismissed — was to spare the family further grief. Musser said after months of pouring over the case and working with the victim and her family, he chose to enter the deal for logistical legal reasons and because the family wanted to put it behind them.
Given the last word before sentencing, Castillo apologized for his actions and to the victim and her family. He was represented by Fort Wayne attorney Nikos Nakos and co-counsel Foy McNaughton, Angola.
The victim was 17 years old when Castillo told her he’d been having sexually charged dreams about her, she said Monday in court, referring to him as a “monster.” She met him when she was 8 years old and over the years her family spent much time with Castillo and the Fremont “long-distance family,” said the victim’s mother.
The victim said after Castillo first professed interest in her in the spring of 2015, he became cold and distanced at practices. Then in early June 2015, during a meet in Bloomington, the victim said Castillo tried incessantly to kiss and touch her. He talked her into driving him home when the bus returned to the school after the weekend trip, she said, and harangued her into a kiss.
“I had never kissed a boy before and I remember thinking I didn’t think that was what it would be like,” she said. When he instigated intercourse in the basement of her home in July 2015, she had a similar thought, she said.
When she went to college, Castillo continued the relationship, threatening several things, including suicide, if she ended it.
“For almost three years, I cried every day,” the victim said. “I tried three times to get out of this sick relationship ... How could this be my life?”
She told her mother and a school counselor in December 2017 and legal action began. Castillo resigned from his coaching position. He posted bail after one day served in jail, arrested on a warrant in March 2018.
Wheat ordered Castillo to pay a $5,000 fine as part of his sentence. When he completes the served portion, he must register on the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry and follow all of its rules.