Portales man convicted on sexual charges

Freedom Newspapers

A Portales jury late Tuesday convicted a 36-year-old Portales man of eight counts of criminal sex crimes involving a child under the age of 13, according to 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler.

Darrell Casillas, 36, of Portales was convicted of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual penetration and six counts of second-degree criminal sexual contact of a child under the age of 13, according to a news release from the DA’s office. The news release stated Casillas, arrested in May 2005, faces a maximum sentence of 117 years in the New Mexico Department of Corrections. He is being held in the Roosevelt Detention Center.

“The Portales Police Department conducted a very thorough investigation to get a sexual predator off the streets,” Chandler said. “It’s very difficult for any victim, especially a victim of the age of 11, to come forward and talk about horrible acts.”

The alleged sexual abuse incidents occurred between January 2005 and April 2005, according to a press release from the DA’s office. The 11-year-old victim reported the incidents to her mother in April 2005 and the defendant fled the house, the press release stated.

Chandler said there was medical evidence from a sexual assault examination that led to Casillas’ arrest.

A call Wednesday to Casillas’ attorney, Steve McLlwain, was not returned.

Deputy District Attorney Donna Mowrer prosecuted the case and Judge Joe Parker presided over the trial. The sentencing for Casillas will take place in 60 days in Parker’s courtroom.