Trial for man accused of raping girls begins

The trial of a man accused of raping three girls got underway in Lycoming County Court Tuesday with the testimony from victims in the case.

Carlos Reuben Castro Jr. faces multiple sexual counts for the alleged acts that took place in 2016 at different residences.

In his opening statement, First Assistant District Attorney Martin Wade stated that much of the evidence is based on videos and photos depicting some of the sexual acts performed by Castro on the minors.

The images were captured on Castro’s cellphone and later handed over to police by Veronica Clements, 29, of Williamsport.

Clements testified she had dated Castro for a time and found the phone in a bag he left behind at her residence.

The video evidence played in court revealed Castro allegedly performing sexual acts on different victims, including a 5-year-old girl in September 2016.

County Detective William Weber took the court through the video evidence, noting that Castro was the perpetrator of the crimes.

He noted indicative tattoos on Castro’s hands and arms captured in the footage.

The videos show alleged sexual acts that occurred on five different dates between Aug. 31 and Nov. 13 of 2016.

At least one victim testified that Castro raped her.

The girl, who was 12 at the time, said she didn’t tell anyone about the incident because she was “scared and he threatened me.”

She said there were other acts he committed at other times, including touching her while she was in her bed, coming into the bathroom while she was showering and showing her a video of a male and female having sex.

She testified of a time Castro pushed her down and held down her arms before pulling down her pants. She said she was able to escape, however.

Another girl testified that Castro attempted to commit various sexual acts against her will when she also was 12, but was unsuccessful. Several times he appeared in her bedroom, she said.

“Sometimes I’d wake up and he’d be cuddling me,” she said.

Castro also asked to engage in oral sex with him, according to her testimony. She said she asked her mother on at least one occasion to get him out of her room, but was afraid to tell her mother that Castro wanted to engage in oral sex out of fear that he would hurt her.

Castro was arrested by police shortly after having served a 10-year state prison sentence. In June 2005, he had been convicted of sexual assault, attempted involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and indecent assault involving a 19-year-old woman.

Testimony in the trial is expected to continue today.