Asheville DJ and bartender faces criminal charges for secretly videotaping another person for sexual purposes

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Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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castillo_2014

Feb. 18: Robert G. Castillo II, known around Asheville as DJ Rob, has been arrested and charged with secretly videotaping another person for sexual purposes. The charge is a felony.

An arrest warrant shows that Castillo, 42, of Asheville was charged on Jan. 23. He was arrested Feb. 7.

The arrest warrant states that Castillo “did secretly and for the purpose of arousing his sexual desire, use a device that can be used to create a photographic image with the intent to capture the image without the persons consent.” The charge is generally applied to someone who secretly videotapes another person for sexual purposes.

The warrant lists the date of the actual offense as the night of Oct. 4, 2013. The sex offense occurred at Castillo’s home, according to a police incident report. The victim was a white female, according to the report.

I interviewed the victim in this case Tuesday afternoon. I’m keeping her name confidential, and I don’t plan on reporting any other details of the case at this time so as not to interfere with the ongoing investigation. But the victim in this case wants people to know – women, especially – that declaring yourself a victim of a sex crime is a difficult and trying circumstance. She’s been afraid to go out of her home since she reported the incident. She’s heard rumors, and she’s faced very personal questions. She said she knows that many women don’t want to file a report with police, or face the prospect of appearing in court. She also understands that sometimes lines can be blurry in sex assault cases, but she stresses that it’s never OK for a person to have sex with another without their consent. She said she wants people to be vigilant.

An Asheville Police Department spokesman declined comment, citing an ongoing investigation. I’ve left a message with Castillo seeking comment.

Castillo has played music at Asheville venues such as Broadway’s and Ben’s Tune-Up. He’s also worked as a bartender around town.

UPDATE Feb. 19: To commenters’ points, I corrected the location reference in the last paragraph, and lest there be any doubt, let me be clear that these criminal charges are allegations at this point. I think that’s self-explanatory, but the case will work its way through the system, will be adjudicated, and I will follow its course.

UPDATE Feb. 20: I think folks have had plenty of time to register opinion. Time to close it down. I’m shutting off comment on this post.

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Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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47 Comments

  1. Jared Rutledge February 20, 2014

    It’s interesting to me what a fine line we need to walk with stories such as this. Obviously, there is a lot of interest in Mr. Castillo’s alleged activities, so I think it’s fair for Ashvegas to run a story concerning them. This doubly applies since the allegations are public record.

    However, how do we balance our discussion? On one hand, victim-blaming is rife in our rape culture. We are so quick to cast doubt on allegations, to say the woman was asking for it, to say that she shouldn’t have been in that situation in the first place. On the other hand, we do live in a country where people are innocent until proven guilty, and should not have their reputation destroyed before a verdict is handed down by a jury of peers. We prejudicially label men as “creeps,” the same way that women are labeled “sluts” or “crazy.”

    I don’t know how to properly and critically discuss the issues while being fair to both those truths. But I think it’s an important thing to figure out – perhaps the first step is simply suspending judgment of both parties, and waiting patiently and rationally for justice to be served.

  2. Tracie February 19, 2014

    Just so you folks know that this isn’t just on Jason’s blog….It’s also in the Citizen-Times and was in the Black Mountain paper as well…

    http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20140219/NEWS01/302190041/Well-known-Asheville-DJ-faces-secret-video-charge

    1. theOtherBarry February 20, 2014

      It’s also in the Citizen-Times

      Not exactly:

      “She told the Citizen-Times she could not be more specific about the allegations.”

      1. Anon February 20, 2014

        The police used the word “forcible” in describing the event. Stop victim blaming. We know this guy, on a social level, but do we know him intimately enough to know if he is a predator? People hide things. It is possible. She cannot divulge the details of the case before it goes to court.

        1. theOtherBarry February 20, 2014

          Stop victim blaming.

          That’s an offensive and unfair description of what I’ve been saying on this topic, “Anon”. If these allegations are true, I have nothing but sympathy for the victim. My concern is about a blog being turned into a place where anonymous commentors (not just the alleged victim) can accuse a person of being a rapist, a crime he has not been charged with, and where he is unable to defend himself. That’s not justice.

      2. Tracie February 20, 2014

        Was merely bringing to light that most news sources in the area were reporting something about this…as it it appears like Ashevegas is taking alot of unnecessary heat here. As a matter of Fact, the Asheville Citizen Times Crime Watch page reported it originally on February 9th….it’s out there, enough people felt it was news, and clearly people are passionate on the subject one way or another.

        Plus, it brings to light a subject that we should all be talking about more…date rape and possible drugging of women in Asheville. Having lived her 15 years…I’ve certainly witnessed my fair share.

        And the subject of this article didn’t seem too phased when I saw him DJ’ng this past Tuesday night to a packed crowd at Ben’s Tune up…where I witnessed one especially too drunk girl fall flat on her face 4 TIMES…in front of the bar, the dj stand, and witness by virtually everyone in the joint. …and the guy she was with was just literally holding her up and kissing and grinding all over her IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DANCE FLOOR. It was disgusting.

        Speaking as a bartender here in town…if that would have happened in my place of work, I would have been held accountable for making sure she was no longer served, had accountable folks who could get her home and was seen safely out of the bar and into a taxi before she injured herself or others. If something happened to her from being over-served (or having a drink drugged), the establishment could definitely be held liable both criminally and civilly.

        I can’t imagine anyone giving “consent” in a state of intoxication like that…and this happens all the time, on almost any night of the week here in town. Just sayin…

        1. ashevillain February 20, 2014

          He is not being charged with rape and there is no mention of any drug involvement, so why does this “bring to light a subject that we should all be talking about more…date rape and possible drugging of women in Asheville”?

  3. Norm February 19, 2014

    I wonder how many of you defending Rob have perused the Asheville Mugshots website or Jailbirds mugshots magazine one time or another for entertainment.

  4. jc February 19, 2014

    It sounds like.. they had sex at his place and he had a hidden cam set up to record it and now word is getting around there`s a video…just guessing.

  5. JML February 19, 2014

    I don’t think this is a cool post regardless of what this guy did, he is not guilty yet is he? what did the guy have mirrors on his shoes? cmonnn…

    1. Taco Lover February 19, 2014

      According to my understanding this is an Asheville news blog. I hope these allegations are false, but they do exist. Don’t hate on Ashvegas because he is simply reporting the news. If you don’t like reading current news, get a subscription to the citizen times.

    2. JR February 20, 2014

      Asheville hipsterdom at war with itself… I really love the comic irony of all this posturing… On the one side you have the loyal scenesters who don’t dare find fault in anyone with such a perfect mustache and epic vinyl collection… And on the other side you have your training-wheel lesbians fresh from their first women’s studies class at UNCA who are ready to confront patriarchy in all its nefarious forms (But only right after this epic dance party where everyone can see the new “I hate my dad” haircut I got yesterday).

      Can we just go ahead already and create giant caricatures of both sides and have them fight it out in a “no holds barred” grudge match at a warehouse in the River Arts… That would be more entertaining than this self-righteous internet argument… (And of course there’d be craft beer and a DJ there as well… Good times)

  6. Chris February 19, 2014

    Also what is the point of posting his mugshot? So people can look at him and decide if he is a creep or not based on his looks (after being arrested). Anyone is going to look like a rapist in that situation.

    Sometimes Asheville reminds me of The Crucible.

    1. Nancy February 19, 2014

      He’s a creeper…

  7. Chris February 19, 2014

    I’m not even clear on what he ALLEGEDLY did. What did he do exactly? Set up a video camera in his own home and filmed guests? Then what happened? How do they know it was sexual? This article is kind of vague.

  8. Anon2 February 19, 2014

    It’s disturbing that people are so quick to crucify Rob and imply that he’s guilty of this (and other sexual crimes, of which he has NOT been charged). People are wringing their hands and saying “Women have committed suicide over these types of embarrassments”… what about Rob? What if he’s innocent? No one seems to care about that possibility- and innocent or guilty, his life is being ruined because people are taking one person’s word over another person’s.

    Slow clap, Asheville.

    1. anon2 February 20, 2014

      Sincerely, thank you for sharing. I have been having a very hard time with this. No one has been specific or forthcoming. I met Rob when I was a teenager, quite a long time ago, and our relationship was strange, but he never struck me as a forceful abuser.

      Anyway, I will quit referencing my own experience in terms of this case.

  9. LEW February 19, 2014

    I personally don’t think printing this story with the guy’s photo is appropriate. As a woman I applaud the victim’s courage in standing up for herself IF this crime really happened. We have no way of knowing at this point. I don’t see what the point of this story is without having all the facts. Why does the victim get to keep her name confidential but not the accused perpetrator? We say innocent until proven guilty but everyone is now going to look at this guy differently. If he is guilty then all’s fair game. I really believe that most accusations like this are legitimate – but not all. And when they’re not true then the man is the victim.

    1. smytty February 19, 2014

      Would you prefer the woman to ask other area women to be wary around… all Asheville men? Hard to put a caution out there without being specific.

      I agree it is dicey ground, but if her intention is to inform other potential victims about a predator, names are quite useful.

    2. JTC February 20, 2014

      All of the stories about people who committed crimes or allegedly committed crimes are always posted on this blog if you look back at the other posts. jus sayin

  10. Smytty February 19, 2014

    Raises interesting questions…

    Certainly, if she is warning other Asheville residents to be wary in this person’s company as a result of her experience, that’s a fair gambit. If Jason is looking to spread the word about a dangerous individual and repeat offender, that’s also admirable.

    Of course, our court system exists for good reason and due process ought to be applied before we assume his guilt in any of these discussions. Regardless of his guilt or innocence, a quick Google search will now bring up this article long after most of us have forgotten about it.

    The internet’s very long memory does change the playing field a bit…

  11. travelgnome February 19, 2014

    “Castillo has played music at West Asheville venues such as Broadway’s and Ben’s Tune-Up.”

    Neither of those two venues is in West Asheville.

    1. Jason Sandford February 19, 2014

      Thank you. I will correct.

  12. Gus February 19, 2014

    People continue to re

    1. Gus February 19, 2014

      Peat opinions, gossip, and statements like the below about it’s been known or I’ve heard a lot of stories. I’ve known Rob since 97 and have never heard a story like this about him. Also, women love him, he had never had a need to persuade them home with him. Maybe it’s true, I don’t have the facts, but if all you have is rumors and second hand accounts then neither do you and you should be ashamed at participating in destroying a persons name because of your anger or fear. It should also be known, not that it makes it an impossible charge but may persuade people to tread more lightly with their conclusions, that the one and only one official accuser was in a relationship with him for many months and was still in or in the process of seperAting from him at the time of this alledged occurrence. Just saying, their are a lot of factors in play here. Stop wrecking his reputation! I know if he is cleared the vast majority if you critics won’t say shit to apologize or clear his name. Seen it happen over and over.

      1. Anon February 19, 2014

        You don’t have a vagina, do you Gus? You cannot speak on the experience of women with this man.

        1. Skeptic248 February 20, 2014

          Well I do have a vagina and can speak on my experience as a woman with him. I have known this man for several years and was even involved with him for a time. From the moment I met him he was nothing but sweet towards me and any other woman I saw him interact with. Not once did he make me feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable. Even after our relationship ended I often opted to hang out where he was working because I knew he wouldn’t let anyone mess with me or any friend of his.

          Naturally, I will be shocked and deeply saddened if the ALLEGATIONS turn out to be true but I refuse to pass judgement without knowing all the facts. I truly wish others would do the same.

      2. Somnus February 19, 2014

        I keep hearing apologists on fbook claiming that people are out here repeating others’ opinions, that this is just an uninformed echo chamber of blame. The reality is, these stories have been circulating for years, and now the dam is finally breaking. It’s not an echo chamber–it’s a tidal wave.

        The kneejerk defensiveness and victim-blaming displayed in these comments tell you all you need to know about why stories like this don’t surface in our small town. Who wants their personal life put on blast, and their traumatic experience attacked and questioned by strangers? This survivor was tough enough to come out and say something, and all you have to offer in reply is appeals to a broken justice system that consistently fails to protect the safety of women.

  13. stan February 19, 2014

    And this is why so many women do not feel comfortable reporting sexual crime. I am seeing more posts supporting him and his rights than what the real issue is at hand. Kudos to her for standing up for what she believes in and risking her own reputation as well. Asheville is small and a lot of people know rob, but how many people REALLY know him.

  14. shelly February 19, 2014

    Rumor is rumor, but rumors are plenty. I gotta say the accusation came as no surprise. He is innocent until proven guilty though, so we shall see what comes out of it.

  15. Joel February 19, 2014

    All I can say is I hope the people that are outraged about his reputation being maligned are at a minimum equally outraged at the attacks on the character of those who come forward to report sexual violence….attacks that regularly come from police, “friends” and community. The playing field is not equal. Rape culture is the worst!

  16. Yeppers February 19, 2014

    Thank you. People are up in arms over his reputation, but they should be up in arms over what he is accused of doing (and has been known for, in the community, for years).

    1. jennifer February 19, 2014

      They should be up in arm about the fact that they did nothing before this happened. Where were you as a human being before this became another Voyeuristic story to chime in about. Where were you before that as a real human being in the world twith the opportunity to speak face to face with another human being? I guess no one was actaully there in a way that made any difference, we were probably too busy having voyeuristic online covnersations. Obsiously, that really does a lot of good.

  17. Jon Elliston February 19, 2014

    I’ve no idea what happened in this case, but Jason, the words “alleged” and “allegedly” are severely missing in this report, from the headline on down, as they seem to have been in other reports on the situation. I know that reporters sometimes use terms and frameworks that mean to, and do in some sense, accurately explain criminal charges in quick ways. But in this case, I fear that a more nuanced and necessary approach is being short-circuited, putting fundamental fairness and justice at risk.

    1. Jason Sandford February 19, 2014

      Thanks Jon.

  18. Jason February 18, 2014

    Guilty before proven innocent? I think this article comes dangerously close to libel.

  19. Fred Sampson February 18, 2014

    Wow, talk about victim blaming. If he was accused of stealing a purse and the same language about “alleged crimes the accused committed” was used, no one would bat an eye, but suggest that a man did something creepy and his fellow creeps come out of the woodwork to defend him and slander the victim without any knowledge of the case whatsoever.

    1. theOtherBarry February 19, 2014

      I for one am not “defending” this guy – what worries me is seeing very serious criminal accusations being made and discussed on a blog like Ashvegas. As Jon Elliston up there noted, justice and fairness are put at risk by this sort of discussion. I’m sorry, but it’s just not the place for it.

  20. theOtherBarry February 18, 2014

    I also find this troubling: You print this woman’s statement that strongly suggests that he physically assaulted her – a far more serious crime than he has been charged with.

  21. Jerry February 18, 2014

    AshTMZ!! Something doesn’t sit right with me and this posting. These types of arrests (and much worse) happen all the time, but this one gets posted why? Because he’s a scenester, a barely-public figure? Rob’s reputation is now ruined, and maybe he deserves it, but this feels like very selective posting with pretty serious consequences for the accused. This simply doesn’t need to be here.

    1. JB February 19, 2014

      Oo, or…I have a great idea: We could designate a place within Ashvegas where we CAN talk about these sorts of cases and publish not just this, but others along these lines. Really dig in, you know? I just love that we’re talking about it more openly…

      1. JB February 19, 2014

        …not that we can’t or aren’t talking about it here. Your post just inspired the thought.

  22. Gus i could not agree more. hate seeing anyone dragged through this when so many questions and so much shameful assuming is going on.

  23. Bobbay February 18, 2014

    Regardless of who turns up guilty or not, here’s yet another instance of a man whose name and reputation can be dragged through the mud based on the ALLEGATIONS of a woman who maintains the right to be left anonymous.

    ANY female can walk into a police station and cry wolf, leaving a male “predator” left with his life crumbling before him, with the accuser facing little-to-no repercussions for bearing false witness.

    This could be a legitimate case – sure – but before anyone jumps to conclusions, please respect the privacy and inherent rights of the accused. Instances like this are so much larger than AVL, and are a constant reminder of the issues that men AND women face.

  24. jennifer February 18, 2014

    At the risk of stating the obvious, it is important to not form a firm opinion when you have very little information.

  25. Gus February 18, 2014

    So many unanswered questions. I agree with her but also hate to see people publicly judged without all of the facts.

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