By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
When Marcelino P. Castro plunged a dildo into his rectum in the wee hours of Feb. 20, he could not know it would lead to his arrest last week. But then the dildo became stuck, and Castro began a ride that took him through the UCI Medical Center's emergency room and may land him in prison.
According to law enforcement officials, Castro, a married 42-year-old janitor from Mexico City, arrived at work that day, called his boss on the telephone and offered this story: "I was raped. I am so embarrassed. It was two guys. I was [cleaning] in the restroom when two large, dark men, possibly Samoan, came in, put a rope around my neck and began strangling me, and put a damp cloth over my mouth so I couldn't breathe. When I woke up I was alone in the restroom with my pants down to my knees."
Alarmed, Castro's boss immediately called authorities. Fire trucks, paramedics and police rushed to the scene of the alleged crime, an office building in the city of Orange.
Castro repeated his story to at least 12 individuals, according to a felony complaint obtained by the Weekly. He told two police officers that he was clueless about what his assailants did to him while he was passed out, except that he awoke with a sore bottom. At the hospital, doctors ordered a rape kit examination.
The day after the incident, Castro was more certain. Now he was positive he'd been "raped by two Samoans." They'd "put a damp cloth with a chemical smell over my mouth," he told investigators. "When I woke up I was alone in the restroom."
But Castro's stories didn't add up, according to veteran prosecutor Dennis Bauer. An investigation by Orange police, the DA's office and the fraud division of the California Department of Insurance concluded there had been no rope, no Samoans, no rape.
"It was fiction," said Bauer.
According to the DA, the 12 felonies Castro faces equal the number of alleged false statements he gave to cops, nurses, doctors, work supervisors and law enforcement investigators. Prosecutors believe he attempted to use his dildo encounter as a way to fraudulently obtain compensation from his employer.
"Mr. Castro is accused of sexually experimenting with a dildo, getting it stuck and later making a series of false statements out of embarrassment and shame," said Bauer. He noted that Castro faces more than just possible prison time if found guilty. "There's about $30,000 in restitution we think he should pay for wasting everyone's time."
Castro, a resident of Orange who is free on $50,000 bail, had a clean criminal record, except for a minor 2003 police citation. He could not be reached for comment. His arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 12. No trial date has been set.