June 26, 2013

Twenty Years To Life

By Kitty Merrill

Fidel Castro-Brito, whose sexual crimes against children spurred a months-long investigation by East Hampton Town Police detectives that ultimately resulted in two felony indictments charging 76-counts, was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison on Friday.

Charges included six counts of predatory sexual assault against a child, first-degree rape, use of a child in a sexual performance, promoting a sexual performance by a child, possessing a sexual performance by a child, and endangering the welfare of a child.

On May 2 Castro-Brito pleaded guilty in front of Judge Barbara Kahn to all of the counts in the two indictments. Prosecutors from the Suffolk County District Attorney's sought the maximum sentence of 50 years to life, but Kahn agreed to sentence the predator to 20 to life.

There were four victims abused and raped by Castro-Brito, 24. He was indicted for having sex more than once with one 12-year-old victim between February and April of 2012, subjecting her to "a continuous course of sexual conduct."

Castro-Brito additionally pleaded guilty to engaging in a course of sexual conduct with three different victims, all under the age of 11, for over three months with each child, the first between the summer of 2010 and the summer of 2011, the second from the fall of 2010 to April 2012, and the third during the summer of 2011, according to the indictments.

Castro-Brito was arrested in April of 2012. Police were alerted to him after one of the victims' father saw him jumping out of his daughter's bedroom window.

Detective Tina Giles, who helmed the investigation, was honored as the 2012 Officer of the Year for her work in bringing Castro-Brito to justice. Chief Ed Ecker at the time described the case as "chilling." Giles was also the first woman to earn the Howard Stock Award, which is given to the outstanding officer among East End agencies.

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