Mission Viejo man suspected of running Craigslist ‘modeling’ scheme targeting females for prostitution

A 39-year-old Mission Viejo man who was previously charged with sex trafficking is now facing additional charges for allegedly running a Craigslist “modeling” scheme where he targeted women for prostitution, authorities said.

Gilbert Antonio Castillo is accused of posting ads on Craigslist seeking females, specifically college students, for paid modeling jobs.

From 2015 through 2016, Castillo acted as a pimp for six women, all of whom he met through his ads, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

Prosecutors said he met with the women and told them the job was for prostitution, not modeling. He then required them to “audition” for the job by having sex with him, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said co-defendant Yolymar Ojeda-Gomez, 22, of Irvine, helped recruit females.

In September 2016, Ojeda-Gomez is accused of contacting a 17-year-old girl through one of Castillo’s ads claiming the girl could make money through modeling, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Castillo met with the victim and engaged in sex with her while knowing she was underage. He then arranged for her to meet with more than dozen sex purchasers and drove her to areas of Orange County known for prostitution, authorities said.

In October 2016, members of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force found Castillo and the girl at a hotel in Lake Forest after her family reported her missing in Costa Mesa.

Castillo, who has two prior felony strike convictions for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, faces a sentence of 52 years if convicted.

Ojeda-Gomez, who was also charged with sex trafficking, faces a sentence of 12 years if convicted.


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