BY JULIE MANGANIS
---- — BEVERLY — A Lynn man has been charged with child enticement and indecent assault and battery on a child, after allegedly sending flirtatious text messages to a 13-year-old girl and touching her thigh, prosecutors said.
But a lawyer for Wilfrido Castillo, 26, suggested that while his client’s actions may have created “a very uncomfortable situation,” they’re not crimes.
So far, a judge has not agreed, setting bail for Castillo at $1,000 cash yesterday during his arraignment in Salem District Court, where Castillo pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, which also include witness intimidation and unauthorized access to a computer.
Prosecutor Alex Grimes, citing a Beverly police report, said the girl was a friend of a Beverly teenager described as Castillo’s “stepdaughter,” though Castillo is not married.
The girls were spending the day together in August, visiting the mall and then going to the stepdaughter’s home in Beverly, Grimes said. They had also exchanged phone numbers.
During the visit to the friend’s home in Beverly, the girl told police she began receiving strange text messages from a number she did not recognize.
“Why do you look at me like you do?” one text said.
The girl wrote back, “Who is this?” and then learned that it was Castillo, she told police.
Castillo told the girl in another text that he thought she liked him.
When the girl told him she was not interested, Castillo sent her a message telling her to delete the texts he’d sent and to meet him in the bathroom so that he could confirm she had done so.
Inside the bathroom, Castillo touched her leg just above her knee, the girl told police.
Defense lawyer William O’Hare said Castillo, a laborer, has no criminal record and supports two children of his own. He asked Judge Robert Brennan to release Castillo on his own recognizance.
Brennan disagreed, setting the $1,000 bail and imposing conditions on Castillo that include no contact with the girl or with any child under 16 other than his own children.
A pretrial conference is scheduled for Nov. 12.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.