Sheriff’s Deputy Arrested on Kiddie Porn Charges Ordered $16K Bond; Prosecutors Wanted $250K Bond

UPDATE: Judge orders $16,000 bond for PBSO deputy arrested on multiple child-porn charges.

kiddie porn
Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office deputy Kurt J. Castaldo appears before a judge Thursday, August 23, 2018, after his arrest on multiple charges of child pornography. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

A Palm Beach sheriff’s deputy arrested Wednesday on kiddie porn charges faced a judge Friday and received $16,000 bond. The prosecutors requested a bond amount of $250,000 but the defense laid out a compelling argument for the deputy. The defense attorney, Michael Salnick, told Palm Beach County Judge Ted S. Boooras that the higher bond amount for Kurt J. Castaldo was “outrageous.” He claimed to have drug smuggling clients whose bond amounts were significantly lower.

The deputy was booked on eight counts related to kiddie porn. The counts accuse Castaldo of directing or promoting a sexual performance of a child as well as possession of child pornography. He also is accused of using a communication device to facilitate a felony. The directing or promoting charge is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The possession charges are third-degree felonies, which each call for up to five years.

Castaldo is reportedly married with two small children. He has been employed with the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office for years. And according to Salnick, Castaldo is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The judge acknowledged the attorney’s bullet points.

Salnick also offered up his client’s expired passport to show that he wouldn’t be a flight risk.

Castaldo finds himself on the other side of the law this week after investigators received a tip on social media site, Tumblr. Allegedly, an unknown user uploaded five pictures showing minors involved in sex acts. The tip came from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which operates the “cyber tips” lines.

According to the tip and the following investigation, three of the pictures showed a boy between 14 and 16 posing nude. Another photo showed an adult man raping a boy between 7 and 10. The last picture showed a boy between 6 and 9 being forced to perform a sex act on an adult man.

Investigators traced the IP address of the photos to Castaldo who was contacted at the sheriff’s office. The deputy admitted to his kiddie porn fetish and claimed his interest went back 20 years. He admitted to actively looking up the depraved sex acts on his cell phone. Ironically, Castaldo passed a 40 hour course on child sex crime investigations last December.

Castaldo is just the latest in a long list of police officers guilty of either kiddie porn or “indecency with a minor.” Earlier this week, Georgia cop, Sgt. Richard Gooddine, was fired from the East Point Police Department following allegations he kidnapped a 15-year-old who broke curfew and sexually assaulted her.

Also this week, a Texas deputy who was arrested for raping a 4-year-old and threatening her mother with deportation, committed suicide in jail. Bexar County Sheriff’s Deputy Jose Nunez, 47, died on Monday of a suspected suicide while jailed on a charge of super aggravated sexual assault of a child. Authorities have not released how the deputy took his life.

In yet another incident this week, Hammond Police Department officer 44-year-old Brad Core, was arrested on Wednesday for sex crimes against a child, according to Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards. He is being charged with sexual battery, oral sexual battery, carnal knowledge of a juvenile, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. His bond has not been set.

And the list goes on. A simple Google search will pull up dozens of cases involving officers and minors. This is more than some random incidents. This is more than just a few bad apples. It is an epidemic, an infestation of positions of power to manipulate the more vulnerable among us.

In the case of the Palm Beach deputy, will it be discovered that he molested his two young children as well? Will it be discovered that he’s a closet pedophile and not only directed and/or promoted a sexual performance with a child but also engaged in it? Only time will tell.

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