Orange County social worker distributed baby, toddler child pornography

SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA – A former Orange County social worker pleaded guilty today to a federal criminal charge that he distributed computer video files that contained sexually explicit videos depicting children, including infants and toddlers.

Carlos Castillo, 62, of Santa Ana, pleaded guilty via videoconference to a single-count information charging him with distribution of child pornography.

According to his plea agreement, Castillo worked at Orange County’s Social Services Agency from May 2002 to January 2020. Beginning in August 2007, Castillo was a placement senior social worker whose responsibilities included assessing applicants’ suitability to provide care of children who are in protective custody, completing a home and grounds environment assessment, and placing children into homes.

In November 2019, Castillo knowingly distributed child pornography consisting of three video files, the plea agreement states. Castillo admitted that he, using the screen name “Ratster12” as a member of a child pornography group that used the LiveMe application, posted a link to another webpage containing three videos depicting prepubescent children, including infants and toddlers, who were being sexually assaulted by adults and other children.

Castillo also admitted that in January 2020 he possessed a Dell computer, two flash drives and an Apple iPhone that contained at least 1,027 videos and 914 images of child pornography. Castillo further admitted that he possessed videos of minors undressing that Castillo had recorded from LiveMe. In addition, he admitted to possession of pictures of minors in public without the authorization or knowledge of the minors or their parents.

United States District Judge Cormac J. Carney has scheduled an April 19 sentencing hearing, at which time Castillo will face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

The FBI investigated this matter.

Assistant United States Attorney Vibhav Mittal of the Santa Ana Branch Office is prosecuting this case.