GREAT BAY – The Court in First Instance imposed a contact ban and prohibited Ramon Decena Castillo to come within a radius of 100 meters of his now ex-girlfriend’s home and place of work. The court also sentenced the 36-year-old to 180 days of imprisonment of which 124 days are suspended. The remaining days the defendant already spent in pretrial detention.
The court found Castillo guilty of stalking his ex-girlfriend after she broke off the relationship and of hitting her on the head with a stone on one occasion, but it acquitted him of threatening the women when he allegedly drove by her home and waved a knife at her from his car.
The incidents mark a relationship that was troubled from the beginning. Castillo, who is married, maintained a relationship with the plaintiff for three years, but it ended sometime last summer. The stalking and the ill-treatment took place between January 1, 2012 and September 18, 2014.
The defendant told investigators that the real problems began in August of last year. He came to the woman’s house, peeped through her windows, called her and knocked on her door, even though she had told him not to come back.
Judge Maria Paulides noted, reading from the dossier, that the woman had ended the relationship because Castillo was extremely jealous and always wanted to know where she was.
Castillo admitted that he had gone to the woman’s house on August 31 of last year because she had to pay him $1,300 and that he would use this money to travel to the Dominican Republic. That night things got out of hand, whereby he hit the woman with a stone on her head, causing profusely bleeding wounds. The victim’s daughter saw it happened and learned from her mother’s phone that Castillo had called her ten times in a row.
The victim’s son described the defendant to investigators as “a nice man until he starts drinking.”
Castillo claimed in court that the head wound was the result of a push and shove party between him and the woman. He was released from pretrial detention in November – after that, there have been no more problems. “That is because you were in the Dominican Republic,” Judge Paulides observed.
Prosecutor Karola van Nie considered both the stalking and the ill-treatment proven. Witnesses, phone records and medical reports support the victim’s claims. For the threat with the knife, the prosecutor found insufficient evidence and she asked the court to acquit the defendant of this charge.
Castillo was detained from September 24 until November 19 of last year. Van Nie demanded a 6-month conditional prison sentence with 2 years of probation, 120 hours of community service and supervision by the rehabilitation bureau. She also demanded a contact ban.
Attorney Shaira Bommel concurred with the prosecution’s demand for an acquittal of the threat. She also noted that her client had not intentionally stalked the woman, saying that her client may have been overly concerned. “It was an on-and-off relationship and in every relationship there are troubles from time to time. Stalking was never the intention.”
Bommel furthermore pointed out that none of the witnesses had actually seen the ill-treatment with the stone. “Pushing does not fall under ill-treatment,” she said. “If this happened, then where is the stone he supposedly used? There should have been blood on it, but the stone has not been found and nobody saw my client walk away with something in his hand.”
The attorney concluded that there is insufficient evidence for a conviction and asked the court for an acquittal. Judge Paulides did not go along and sentenced Castillo for stalking and ill-treatment. “This type of behavior cannot be tolerated,” the judge said. “When it is over, it is over and you have to respect that.”