Lassen County man sentenced to 52 months in prison

Aurelio Castaneda

Aurelio Castaneda, 63, was sentenced Tuesday, April 29, to 52 months in state prison for two felony violations of Penal Code section 288.2 — communicating with minors for a sexual purpose; one felony violation of Penal Code section 288(c)(1) — lewd and lascivious acts with a child over the age of 14; and one misdemeanor violation of Penal Code section 314 — indecent exposure. He is also required to register as a sex offender.

According to the Lassen County District Attorney’s Office, “after providing alcohol and vapes to teenagers, Castaneda would text them pictures of his genitalia while soliciting them to do the same in return. The individuals receiving these messages were brave enough to come forward to authorities with these texts, as well as disclose that he had inappropriately touched them and exposed himself on at least one occasion.

“The young people involved are to be commended for reporting these crimes. It is unfortunate the statutory penalties provided for these offenses are not commensurate with the emotional toll the criminal court process can take on victims. These particular individuals had a strong support system comprised of their family, friends and a compassionate victim advocate who was able to guide them through it. We are proud of the reporting parties for coming forward and participating in the prosecution as well as their families for helping them feel safe to do so.”