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For Immediate Release

Man Sentenced to Serve 125 Years-to-Life in Prison for Sexually Assaulting Two Victims

March 15, 2022

Defendant Cecilio Castaneda, 55 years old of Santa Rosa, was sentenced yesterday by the Honorable Robert LaForge to serve 125 years-to-life in state prison after being found guilty by a Sonoma County jury in November of last year of multiple counts of molesting two young children. Following the 2 week-long trial the jury found the defendant guilty of all charges and enhancements.

District Attorney Ravitch stated, “This defendant caused significant trauma to the young victims in this case. Hopefully his lengthy prison sentence gives them some reassurance.”

Castaneda had regular access to the children he victimized as their families socialized together, and the children were often babysat at his home. At trial the children testified about incidents that occurred when they were sleeping and other adults were not present. Castaneda committed the assaults when the children were in elementary school. During their trial testimony, the young victims clearly indicated the lasting detrimental impacts caused by the defendant.

Although Castaneda was sentenced to 125 years-to-life in prison, recent California legislation allows prison inmates, including Castaneda, to be considered for parole after serving only 20 years of their sentence. Penal Code section 3055 originally went into effect in 2018, and with few exceptions allowed for inmates who reached 60 years of age and served 25 years of their sentence to be considered for release back into the community on parole. This “elderly parole” provision was amended in 2020 to now allow inmates who have reached the age of 50 and served only 20 years of their sentence to be considered for parole.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Andrew Lukas, assisted by District Attorney Investigator Dave Linscomb. Detective Tim Raymond of the Santa Rosa Police Department headed the investigation.