UPDATE: As alleged MySpace sexual predator Matthew Castaneda heads to court today, his case has fueled a state bill aimed at banning predators from MySpace, Facebook and other social networking sites (details below) . . .
If Matthew Castaneda is the man who connected with a 12-year-old Santa Ana girl on MySpace, met her at South Coast Plaza and took her to an Anaheim motel to sexually assault her, the 33-year-old deserves everything the law (and future inmates) throw at him.
But he's already had knees, elbows and chokeholds thrown at him as a professional wrestler,
UPDATE: Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Anaheim) and other politicians and law enforcement officials Wednesday unveiled proposed legislation that would prohibit registered sex offenders from joining social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. Solorio said he believed the legislation can pass constitutional muster, saying it would be like prohibiting convicted federal felons from owning a gun. "We think children have constitutional rights too," said Solorio, who brought up the case against Castaneda, who is scheduled to attend a pre-trial hearing today.
See more on Castaneda's wrestling career in "'Chippy Sanchez' Wrestles His Demons."
Gustavo Arellano also chronicled the WPW in his 2001 Weekly story, "Lucha F@!#%n Libre!" that followed wrestlers who compete at the Anaheim Indoor Marketplace. Castaneda does not turn up in that article, but he was found in the following, courtesy of an eagle-eyed reader:
To Who It May Concern, Hello! I am currently in search of potential sponsors for our professional wrestling event being held on August 2nd, 2008, in Anaheim CA. Our event will be taking place at the Anaheim Indoor Marketplace, and will feature wrestling superstars from Mexico and Japan, as well as the very best local talent that Southern California has to offer. I would love the opportunity to work with you on this event, and would be grateful if i could come in contact with a representative regarding this matter. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact me at your earliest convenience. Thank you for your time! Sincerely, Matthew Castaneda Anaheim, CA.
A "tipster" also informed our sister paper, LA Weekly, that Castaneda and Chippy are one in the same. The nickname apparently refers to his chipped teeth.
The wrestler's back tattoos match the detailed description of Castaneda Anaheim police are spreading far and wide because they fear the 12-year-old Santa Ana girl is not his only victim.
The case against him began to unravel when the girl, who had been reported missing, flagged down a uniformed Anaheim Police Civilian Traffic Controller near Harbor Boulevard and Katella Avenue the evening of Feb. 17 and said she wanted to go home.
When it was discovered the girl had been reported missing out of Santa Ana, that city's police department was contacted and an officer picked up the girl. During the missing person investigation, Santa Ana police learned the girl had been sexually assaulted in Anaheim. The case was then turned back over to Anaheim.
She told police a man had met her on MySpace in November 2009 and continued to have online contact with her, according to the Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) complaint against Castaneda.
Anaheim detectives learned the pair had been back in touch on MySpace earlier Wednesday. They arranged to meet at South Coast Plaza, and from there they took a bus to Anaheim. They visited two parks before winding up at Zaby's Motor Lodge at Harbor and Katella.
Around 6 p.m., the girl was sexually assaulted by the man in the motel room. He left about a half hour later, and she wandered out of the room and flagged down the traffic officer.
With help from MySpace, Anaheim police identified their suspect as Castaneda. Investigators located him at a warehouse in the 2000 block of Placentia Avenue in Costa Mesa. He was arrested on suspicion of lewd and lascivious behavior with a child under the age of 14.
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According to the OCDA, Casteneda was on parole at the time of his arrest for a 2007 prior conviction for felony domestic violence and violating a restraining order. He was charged this week with two felony counts of lewd act on a child under 14 and sentencing enhancement allegations for violating parole and sexual conduct with a child. Currently held without bail, he faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in state prison.
Police believe there are other young victims because the staff at Zaby's Motor Lodge told them Castaneda was a frequent guest. That's why officers released multiple photos of the suspect and this description:
Hispanic; 5 foot 11; 180 pounds; thin build; short, shaved black hair; tattoos on his abdomen ("13"), behind his left ear ("CF"), his right arm and back ("Calle Flores"), his right shoulder ("Romona"), and his left shoulder ("MC"). Dreamboat is also missing a front tooth and has a pierced nose and left ear.
If you or someone you know came in contact with Castaneda, contact Anaheim detectives at (714) 765-1958.