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Salem Man Found Guilty Of Sex Abuse

DALLAS -- A Salem man originally accused of rape and other sex crimes involving a 19-year-old Monmouth woman in an incident that took place last summer has been found guilty of sex abuse.Romeo Castellanos, 35, had been facing five felony charges in the case: two counts of first-degree sodomy, two counts of first-degree sex abuse and one count of rape in the first degree.Judge Monte Campbell found Castellanos guilty of a lesser and included crime, a charge of second-degree sex abuse, at the conclusion of a two-day bench trial. In and bench trial evidence is weighed and a judgment issued by a judge, not a jury. He was found not guilty of the remaining charges in the July 23-24 trial.According to court documents, the abuse took place after Castellanos drove the victim home from a party they both attended on July 22, 2012. Castellanos, who told the victim he was 23, claimed he was too tired to drive home, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Matt Jarvis, who prosecuted the case. The victim allowed Castellanos to sleep on her couch, but later awoke to him assaulting her. Castellanos was arrested on July 27, 2012 after police interviewed him regarding the incident.Castellanos is scheduled for sentencing on Aug. 20. Based on being previously convicted of four second-degree sex abuse charges in 2001 in a Marion County case, he faces a minimum sentence of 31 months to three years in prison.

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