Smithfield man ordered to stand trial for allegedly sexually abusing ex-girlfriend

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

LOGAN — A 22-year-old Smithfield man has been bound over for trial on charges that he sexually abused a woman last month.  Raymond A. Castaneda pleaded not guilty to the charges as Judge Thomas Willmore ordered that he continue to be held in jail without bail.

Castaneda appeared in 1st District Court Monday afternoon for a preliminary hearing.  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.

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.

During Monday’s hearing, Judge Willmore said that prosecutors had presented enough evidence to bind Castaneda over on all of the charges.  He expressed concern though about the victim’s story, noting that she had drove to the defendant’s home on the night of the alleged assault.

Defense attorney Wayne Caldwell said there was more to the case than what prosecutors presented as evidence.  He noted that there was hundreds of text messages between his client and the victim, graphically showing that the two had a consensual sexual relationship.

Caldwell asked for Castaneda to be granted bail, explaining that his client had no other criminal history, strong family support and was not a flight risk.  He also said that bail would allow them to prepare for trial easier.

Cache County Deputy Attorney Dane Murray opposed the bail request.  He said Castaneda was a significant danger to the victim.  He read several of the defendant’s text messages, describing how he was going to harm the woman.

Judge Willmore agreed with Murray.  He ordered Castaneda to be held in jail and appear again in court July 22.

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

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