Attorney Hollinger Gains Acquittal for Local Athlete in Rape Case

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A former standout wrestler for Conrad Weiser High School was found not guilty Thursday in Berks County Court in the April 17 beating and sexual assault of a Womelsdorf woman.

Julian A. Castillo, 18, of Womelsdorf was acquitted of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated and simple assault in a four-day trial before Senior Judge Albert A. Stallone.

The incident occurred about three months after Castillo helped the school’s wrestling team win the Berks II title. He wrestled in the 130-pound weight class.

Castillo has been in the county prison in lieu of $100,000 bail since he turned himself in April 25 and missed the rest of his senior year.

Stallone said Castillo would be released as soon as possible.

Castillo’s attorney, Michael K. Hollinger, said Thursday was a happy day for Castillo and his family.

“I feel very fortunate just to be part of it,” Hollinger said.

The woman declined comment.

Dr. Robert L. Urzillo, Weiser superintendent, said Castillo’s academic status would have to be evaluated if Castillo decides he wants to finish his senior year and graduate.

Police had charged that Castillo attacked the woman, now 43, about 10:30 p.m. in Mulberry Alley near Front Street in the borough shortly after she had been drinking at a private club with her brother. The siblings argued before the attack, police said.

The Reading Eagle is withholding the woman’s name.

The woman testified that she was knocked out twice and raped. She identified Castillo as her attacker.

Laura Yoder, a registered nurse in the emergency room at Good Samaritan Hospital in Lebanon, testified that the victim’s injuries were so severe that she could not tolerate an internal examination on April 18 after the attack.

“She was crying,” Yoder said in court. “She was dirty. There was blood. It was on her left eye above her eyebrow. There was blood on her shirt. I recall seeing blood on the back of her underpants.”

The woman had scratches on her back and injuries to her legs, face, left arm and left shoulder, Yoder said.

Castillo testified that he walked into the alley to separate the woman and her brother, but did not rape her.

He said he went to the police station as soon as he heard police wanted to talk to him because he wanted to be cleared as a suspect.

Witnesses testified that no DNA was found on the victim to tie anyone to the attack.

Hollinger argued that police did not do a thorough investigation.

A swab taken from the victim that could have cleared Castillo was lost, he said.

Assistant District Attorney C. Edward Browne told the jury that the woman consistently described her attacker as young and wearing a black T-shirt and a white hooded sweat shirt, the clothes Castillo testified he had been wearing.

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