By Paula Cronic: PNT Staff Writer
A Portales man was sentenced to 51 years in prison Tuesday on child sex charges, according to a press release from 9th Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler.
Darrell Casillas, 36, of Portales was found guilty by a jury July 18 of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual penetration of a child and six counts of second-degree criminal sexual contact of a child under the age of 13, the press release said.
“The 51-year sentence brings much needed resolution in justice for the horrible acts that were committed against our victim, and our victim can rest assured that her perpetrator will be in prison,” Chandler said.
In the press release, it stated the sexual abuse incidents began in January 2005 and continued until the victim reported the crimes to her mother in April 2005.
Casillas was arrested by Portales Police a month later.
Deputy District Attorney Donna Mowrer feels the sentencing was just sentence for the nature of the offense.
Mowrer said the victim showed courage during court proceedings.
“It’s difficult for a victim to have to take the stand, and in this case the victim faced the defendant, and I thought she was very brave,”
Casillas must serve 85 percent of his sentence before becoming eligible for his first parole hearing, according to the press release.
As part of the sentence, Casillas will be placed on probation and parole for 20 years after his release and must register as a sex offender, said the press release
“The Legislature just recently changed some of the other sentencing for crimes against children, so I think as a whole the Legislature and the state has begun to send a message that we’re not going to tolerate offenses against children like this,” Mower said.
Phone calls made to Casillas’ defense attorney, Steve Mcllwain, on Wednesday were not returned.