Preliminary hearing scheduled for Smithfield man suspected of sexually abusing ex-girlfriend

Booking photo for Raymond Castaneda (Courtesy: Cache County Jail).

LOGAN — A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for a 22-year-old Smithfield man accused of sexually beating a woman last month. Raymond A. Castaneda was booked into the Cache County Jail June 15 and is being held without bail.

Castaneda appeared in 1st District Court Monday morning. He was previously charged with aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony; forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony; and aggravated assault, a third-degree felony.

Castaneda’s defense attorney asked the court for the preliminary hearing, where a judge will determine if prosecutors have sufficient evidence to bind the suspect over for trial. The hearing was scheduled for July 8.

According to police reports, an officer was called to investigate an alleged sexual assault, June 14. The alleged victim reported to have been strangled and slapped by the suspect, her ex-boyfriend, while in his car. She had markings on her neck and other parts of her body.

The woman told the officer that she told Castaneda to get off her and to stop but he refused. He also restrained her and forced her to stay, when she tried to get away.

Prosecutors have asked that Castaneda be held behind bars, claiming he is a substantial danger to the community and could flee the area if released. They also suspect he might harm himself or the alleged victim.

Court records show, Castaneda previously was convicted of disorderly conduct, in two separate incidents. He also pleaded guilty to retail theft.

Castaneda did not speak during Monday’s court appearance. He could face up to life in prison if convicted.

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