Judge sets new bond for accused officer

A former school resource police officer accused of having sex with a 16-year-old girl he met at Portales High School has a new bond.

Magistrate Judge Richard Hollis set Victor Castillo's bond at $100,000 cash only Friday at a hearing dominated with concerns about the one-time officer's mental state.

District Attorney Matt Chandler told Hollis that he and defense attorney Kirk Chavez had concerns Castillo was a danger to himself. Chandler added he also was concerned Castillo was a danger to his victim, the public and members of the law enforcement community.

A woman Chandler identified as the victim's mother choked back tears through much of the hearing. Castillo, who is being held at De Baca County jail, appeared on video from the Curry County jail wearing an orange jumpsuit with his hands folded on a table while cuffed at the wrists.

Just a day earlier, Hollis revoked Castillo's original bond of $100,000 surety (10 percent) at an emergency hearing after it was learned Castillo violated terms of his release by traveling to Texas.

Chavez said Castillo left the state Thursday to see doctors at a mental health facility in Amarillo. Castillo was referred to the facility earlier in the day by doctors at a Veterans Administration clinic in Clovis, Chavez said.

Chavez pleaded with Hollis to reinstate the 10-percent bond and place Castillo on electronic tether under house arrest. He said there was no facility in the state capable of housing or protecting Castillo, noting his client is a former police officer and a former detention center officer.

Castillo worked at the Roosevelt County Adult Detention Center prior to becoming a Portales police officer. He was fired from the PD July 13 for not meeting the terms of his one-year probation, according to Portales Police Lt. Mark Cage.

Chandler argued for the stiffest bond Hollis could impose. He said there is evidence Castillo may have distributed videos of himself having sex with the high school student. He also said the victim's mother had concerns that Castillo may have tried to contact her daughter since being charged.

Chandler also said Castillo was only charged a week ago "almost to the hour" and had already violated terms of his bond release.

Hollis imposed the $100,000 cash-only provision and emphasized a series of strict provisions should Castillo somehow manage to raise the cash. Among the conditions: No Internet access of any kind, no contact with anyone under age 18, no attempts to contact the victim and that Castillo be placed under constant electronic monitoring.

Hollis also said he would contact Curry County jail Administrator Gerry Billy immediately after the hearing to request Castillo be placed in isolation.

Castillo turned himself in at the Curry County jail about 5 p.m. Thursday, following the earlier emergency bond revocation hearing. He was transferred to De Baca County jail because Curry County doesn't have any isolation cells available.

Chandler said he expected Castillo would be returned to the De Baca jail.

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