A 42-year-old Brooklyn man, Bennett Castello, has been sentenced to 22 years to life in prison by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun after having been convicted of first-degree rape and other charges for a 2013 attack on a 13-year-old girl in the basement laundry room of her Gravesend apartment building.
According to trial testimony, at approximately 3:30 p.m. on April 29, 2013, the victim entered her apartment building and was followed inside by Castello. He then went into the elevator with her, pressed the button for the basement and forced her out while threatening her with scissors.
The defendant forced the girl into the laundry room where he groped and raped her, then threatened to kill her if she told anyone. After the defendant fled, the victim ran upstairs to her apartment and told her parents what had happened. They called 911.
“This young girl’s innocence has been lost and her life forever changed as a result of this vicious attack,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson. “This defendant will now likely spend the rest of his life behind bars, where he belongs.”
Castello, a Midwood resident, was convicted last month of two counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of first-degree rape, one count of first-degree sexual abuse and one count of first-degree burglary as a sexually motivated felony, following a jury trial.