“The first time it happened, I found myself so weak and powerless,” the girl said with a loud, yet quavering voice. “It was ugly and horrific and downright repulsive. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.”
The girl recounted for a judge the years of sexual abuse she endured at the hands of Rene Bustillos-Carrillo, who sat just feet away from her, handcuffed and dressed in orange jail scrubs.
After hearing testimony from the victim and her parents, Natrona County District Court Judge Thomas Sullins sentenced Bustillos-Carillo to 18 to 20 years in prison.
Just before handing down the sentence, Sullins called child sexual abuse “an epidemic” and said people must be deterred from committing such “horrible crimes.”
Unfortunately, it is an epidemic that few people are willing to talk about, so most don't know it's an epidemic. Is there something you can do to raise the awareness of this devastating evil?
“The message needs to be that these types of crimes have a high-victim impact, as we’ve seen in the courtroom today, and are absolutely inexcusable,” he said.
The judge said he was hesitant to honor a plea agreement made in the case. The District Attorney’s office charged Bustillos-Carillo last April with nine sex-abuse charges, which would have put him in prison for life. But prosecutors made a deal with Bustillos-Carrillo: If he entered pleas to two charges, they wouldn’t ask for more than 20 years.
With the help of a Spanish-speaking interpreter, Bustillos-Carrillo in September pleaded no contest to one count of third-degree sexual abuse of a minor and pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor.
The second charge pertains to another girl Bustillos-Carrillo molested.
Sullins said he’d go along with the agreement because he understands how extremely difficult sex abuse cases are to prosecute.
The second victim, a girl born in 2000, reported the abuse in February to police. After she came forward, authorities learned Bustillos-Carrillo had been abusing another girl.
Bustillos-Carrillo may face deportation to Mexico for the felony convictions. The defendant’s attorney, Richard Szekely, said it is up to the Wyoming Department of Corrections and the federal government to decide when Bustillos-Carrillo will be deported.
Victim impact devastating
The victim’s mother approached the podium with a clear plastic bag filled with her daughter's prescription medications.
“This is only a small amount of the medication she has to take every day because she can’t function, because he tortured her,” the woman said.
She said her daughter sleeps in bed with her now because she’s terrified Bustillos-Carrillo will come after her. The girl, who was born in 1998, said the abuse started when she was 10 years old.
For years, the woman said, her daughter suffered from physical ailments. She and her husband took the girl to see doctors, but they couldn’t figure out why she was suffering.
“I had no clue why this child had black eyes sometimes, and bruises on her arms and legs,” she said.
After the truth came out, the woman said she asked her daughter how many times Bustillos-Carrillo raped her. She’d lost count, the girl told her mom.
“He is evil,” the woman said. “He is so incredibly evil ... "”
The girl’s father told the judge his daughter is a hero for speaking out about what Bustillos-Carrillo did to her.
“He is a thief and a liar,” the man said. “He stole her innocence of being a child. He stole her childhood. He stole her happiness.”
In her own words
“When I was a little girl, I remember how happy I was,” the teenage girl said from the podium.
After the abuse started, she began abusing alcohol and harming herself. She couldn’t eat.
“It was the most traumatic and trying time of my life,” she said. “I was depressed, constantly.”
She said the abuse happened regularly for many years. Her attacker is going to prison, but she and her family are still recovering.
“Maybe I’m just going mad and I won’t get back to where I was before this happened,” she said. “I hope that’s not true.”
It's not true, sweetheart! You will recover with help; and you can be happy again in time. Right now, you are my hero! God bless and heal you!
People, please pray for this girl and the other two victims of this evil man.