A Woodland man, Gilberto Castro, faces two counts of spousal abuse charges after a preliminary hearing in Yolo County Superior Court in front of Judge Paul Richardson on Monday. The most serious charge, under Penal Code section 220 (a), is an assault with the intent to commit mayhem, rape, sodomy or oral copulation.
Mr. Castro allegedly on May 7 of 2016 attacked, assaulted and attempted to rape his wife. The alleged victim testified that they had attended her daughter’s first communion party when her now-estranged husband drank excessively. She and the kids left the party in advance of him and returned to their trailer.
The complaining witness, speaking through a Spanish interpreter, testified that her then-husband drove home, heavily intoxicated, sometime later. He went into the kitchen where she was cleaning, and demanded she warm up some tortillas.
At this point, she testified that he put his hands on her “female parts” in order to pull down her pants. He succeeded in pulling down her underwear and demanded sex. She was horrified because her daughter was around, although not in the room at the time.
She ran into the bedroom which was upstairs while she pulled up her clothing. He then grabbed her by the hair and threw her down to the floor.
At this point, he told her she had to be his wife whether she liked it or not. He attempted to separate her legs with his hands making marks on her legs that were shown to the judge during the testimony.
She then fell on the floor and he kicked her arms and legs. Again, there were photos of the bruises from the attack.
She could not remember how long this took place. She said that she put her hands up to her head to protect it from blows.
At this point, her 15-year-old son heard the commotion and ran into the room and pushed Mr. Castro off her. They exchanged pushes, and she was able to run out of the bedroom and flee.
The police were called and Mr. Castro was taken into custody.
Photos showed extensive bruising to her legs, chest and arms. She stated that she got the bruises on her legs when he “tried to separate my legs in order to rape me.”
Under cross-examination from defense attorney Richard Lansburgh, the complaining witness indicated that they lived in a mobile home together. She had five kids, but only one by Mr. Castro.
She indicated that there were no problems at the party, but that Mr. Castro had consumed a large amount of alcohol and then he drove home drunk.
During cross-examination, Mr. Lansburgh pointed out discrepancies between the details of the police report and what she was testifying to now. She acknowledged that she lost consciousness when she was thrown down the stairs, although she admitted she may have fainted instead of being knocked unconscious.
She also testified to a previous incident two days before this one, when he threw her down the stairs, and she claimed she fainted on that occasion rather than having been knocked unconscious.
She said that she gave one statement to the police on May 7 (which may have been just after midnight, making it May 8) and then again the following Friday when she was called to talk with the police. She also met with Empower Yolo, a woman’s domestic violence advocacy group, and gave a statement there with more detail, claiming he kicked her with his boots on.
Neither the prosecution nor the defense presented arguments on the matter. However, Deputy DA Rob Gorman dismissed Count 2 and Count 4 following the evidence. Count 2 was a battery charge under Penal Code section 243 (d) and Count 4 was PC section 273.5(a) which refers to corporal injury on a spouse resulting in a traumatic condition.
Count 4 referred to the attack on May 5, two days earlier.
Judge Richardson, however, held Mr. Castro to answer on Counts 1 and 3, where Count 3 was a 273.5(a) charge for the evening of May 7. Judge Richardson indicated that the photograph supports the Count 1 charge showing the bruising to her legs during the alleged attempted rape. He noted that there is strong suspicion to support the main charge, given the testimony regarding the language the defendant used and his behavior.
—David M. Greenwald reporting