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Gun-loving church youth mentor accused of creating horrifying ‘sex attic’ to abuse young boys

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A former church youth mentor is being accused of sexually abusing two young boys, according to the Charlotte Observer.

Julio Andres “Andy” Castillo, 34, of South Carolina, is being accused of multiple counts of sexually abusing the two boys while they were under the age of 16. Castillo has been jailed without bond since February 29. Castillo met the boys at church, Episcopal Church of Our Saviour and also York Place, a place where troubled children received counseling. York Place closed in November.

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According to prosecutors, Castillo had a very close relationship with the boys’ family, which include keys to their home and free access to the children.

The abuse went to such an extent that Castillo built a secret room in his attic especially to molest the children. The room included a bed with rings for rope, so he could tie them up, according to the Observer. The room was accessible only with a ladder.

“Sometimes (Castillo) would tie up his (the older boy) arms and legs during sexual abuse,” prosecutor Erin Joyner said. She also described Castillo as a “gun lover” with a weapons cache, and told the paper he carried a pistol on him.

“They were children,” the boys’ father said in court. “They did not ask for this. They did not deserve this.”

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The family lived a couple of doors away from Castillo, who would often go on trips with them. Once, the boys’ parents found Castillo in bed with them, but chalked it up to quirkiness and loneliness.

The family emotionally talked about Castillo’s betrayal, saying he abused the children the night before his wedding, at which their father stood up for him.

The family begged the judge not to allow Castillo to be released from custody pending his trial. Castillo’s supporters said he poses no threat.

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Castillo’s wife is pregnant and about to give birth, the Observer reports, and begged for his release.

“I need him – I love him and I trust him,” she said.

A trial date has yet to be set.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump’s economic ‘brain trust’ ridiculed as America braces for a trade war recession: report

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President Donald Trump appears unprepared to deal with a potential recession, the Associated Press reported Friday.

"Facing a trade war against China that has shaken the global economy, President Donald Trump gathered his most trusted economic aides in the Oval Office," the AP reported. "The assembled brain trust for Friday’s urgent consultations included an economics chief best known for his stint as a cable TV commentator; a trade adviser whose pro-tariff views are outside the economic mainstream; and a treasury secretary (joining by phone on his way back from vacation) who made millions off the housing crisis and then turned to financing Hollywood movies."

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ICE and Homeland Security busted pushing right-wing propaganda and conspiracy theories

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Donald Trump in Oval Office

Multiple federal departments have been pushing far-right propaganda to federal employees.

"An arm of the Justice Department regularly sent summaries and links to articles from an online white nationalist publication over the last year, a BuzzFeed News investigation has found. In addition, similar newsletters sent to the Labor Department, ICE, HUD and the Department of Homeland Security, included links and content from hyperpartisan and conspiracy-oriented publishers," BuzzFeed News reported Friday.

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Trump claimed North Korea missile testing ‘would stop’ — but they just launched again: report

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The upcoming G7 summit meeting in Bairritz, France will have one more issue to grapple with after North Korea reportedly conducted missile tests.

"South Korea's military confirms that North Korea has launched a projectile this morning. From South Hamgyong Province. Japan's government reported it first," Voice of America Seoul bureau chief William Gallo Tweeted Friday.

"North Korea has now conducted nine rounds of launches since early May. But this one's notable because it comes after Trump says Kim promised "this testing would stop when the exercises end." They did end Tuesday. And yet..." he noted.

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