Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today that MARK CASTAGNETTA was sentenced to 218 months in prison and a lifetime term of supervised release for child sex trafficking. CASTAGNETTA pled guilty on November 21, 2016, before U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel, who imposed today’s sentence. In imposing sentence, Judge Seibel characterized the defendant’s misconduct as some of the most serious conduct she had encountered during her time on the bench.
Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “This defendant callously robbed two children of their innocence, inducing them to travel to his home in New Paltz, New York, where he not only sexually abused them, but forced them to have sex with other men in exchange for drugs and money. Today, for his reprehensible crimes, he has been sentenced to over 18 years in federal prison.”
From 2014 through July 2016, CASTAGNETTA engaged in trafficking of minors by contacting two minor victims through an adult fetish website and enticing them to travel to his residence to engage in a sexual relationship in which he played the role of “slave master” and the victim played the role of “slave.” Once there, the defendant engaged in abusive sexual conduct with the victims, supplied the victims with illegal drugs, and induced them to engage in sexual conduct with other individuals in exchange for drugs and money. The defendant also produced an image containing child pornography of one of the victims.
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CASTAGNETTA, age 52, pled guilty to one count of sex trafficking of children.
Mr. Kim praised the investigative work of the FBI’s Westchester County Safe Streets Task Force and the FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children Squad and thanked the New York City Police Department, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the Town of New Paltz Police Department, the Westchester County Human Trafficking Task Force, and the Westchester Department of Social Services for their valuable cooperation in this matter.
This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant United States Attorney Jacqueline Kelly is in charge of the prosecution.