SAN ANGELO — A 21-year-old San Angelo man, Esiah Cruz Castillo, was indicted this month on 21 child sex crimes. He faces a slew of felonies from indecency to sexual assault after targeting children through the social media app, Snapchat, according to court documents released Monday.
The indictments, filed in November, charged Castillo with:
Seven charges of indecency with a child by sexual contact.
Three aggravated sexual assaults of a child.
11 sexual assaults of children.
The charges involve seven children, all younger than 17 years old, according to court records. They reported sexual abuse from Aug. 13 through Oct. 5, 2021.
What we know so far: Snapchat, texts led to initial charges against Castillo
On Sept. 15, 2021, a person found "sexually explicit messages" between a man, later identified as Castillo, and a child 14-15 years old. The person called law enforcement to report the messages, according to an arrest affidavit.
Three weeks later on Oct. 7, 2021, investigators learned the child met a Castillo on Sept. 4 who gave them alcohol and drove them and another person around the Grape Creek community. During the drive, the man inappropriately touched the child, according to court documents.
During an interview with investigators, Castillo "identified several (children) he had targeted for sexual assault" through Snapchat, records state. A sheriff's office release noted at least six children had been identified and searched for more possible victims.
On Oct. 14, more children were interviewed. They said Castillo contacted them through Snapchat, and each made an outcry of sexual abuse, records state.
One 13-year-old child told investigators they had been in contact with Castillo on Snapchat. They said Castillo drove them to an elementary school park where he sexually assaulted them on Sept. 7. The child recognized Castillo's booking photo and Snapchat username.
From this case, Castillo was charged on suspicion of two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child.
Three 14-year-old children in separate cases reported Castillo picked them up, drove them to a nearby area or park, and sexually assaulted them. They reported the assaults happened on Sept. 1, 2 and 5.
Castillo, last arrested Oct. 16, has remained in Tom Green County Detention Center in lieu of a $200,000 bond as of 10:21 a.m. Monday, according to online judicial records.
A court date has been tentatively scheduled for December, according to online court records.
Case coverage timeline
NOTE: The San Angelo Standard-Times uses the singular they/them when reporting child-related crimes to further protect the child's identity.
Alana Edgin is a journalist covering Crime and Courts in West Texas. Send her a news tip at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on San Angelo Standard-Times: San Angelo man charged with 21 child sex crimes in Tom Green County