New Paltz man, 52, sentenced to federal prison for sex trafficking of minors

New Paltz resident Mark Castagnetta, 52, was sentenced Thursday, August 17 to 18 years and two months in federal prison for child sex trafficking.

Castagnetta pled guilty on November 21, 2016, before U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel, who imposed a 218-month sentence along with a lifetime of supervised release. Judge Seibel characterized the defendant’s misconduct as some of the most serious she has encountered during her time on the bench.

From 2014 through July 2016, Castagnetta allegedly engaged in trafficking of minors by contacting two minor victims through an adult fetish website, enticing them to travel to his residence to engage in a sexual relationship in which he played the role of “slave master” and the victim played the role of “slave.” Once there, Castagnetta engaged in abusive sexual conduct with the victims, supplied them with illegal drugs, and induced them to engage in sexual conduct with other individuals in exchange for drugs and money. The defendant in the case also produced an image containing child pornography of one of the victims.

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“[Castagnetta] callously robbed two children of their innocence, inducing them to travel to his home in New Paltz, New York, where he not only sexually abused them, but forced them to have sex with other men in exchange for drugs and money,” said Joon H. Kim, acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Westchester County Safe Streets Task Force, the FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children Squad, New York City Police Department, Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Town of New Paltz Police Department, Westchester County Human Trafficking Task Force and the Westchester Department of Social Services.

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