Duarte changes plea, awaits sentencing

SUBLETTE COUNTY – A Texas man reached a plea agreement after being charged with two felony counts of sexual abuse of a minor younger than 13 – eight years ago – with one count to be dismissed.

Jesus I. Castillo Duarte, now 38, was arrested in March and brought to Sublette County after the victim told school staff about him coming to their previous home and molesting her on July 3, 2014, records show. He was charged with first degree and third degree sexual abuse of a minor.

He pleaded not guilty April 28 in 9th District Court and Judge Marv Tyler set a Sept. 19 trial date.

Deputy county attorney Clayton Melinkovich and public defender Rachel Weksler jointly submitted a plea agreement to dismiss the first-degree sexual abuse charge if Duarte pleaded guilty or no contest to the second felony. They recommended two to five years in prison, no fine, restitution as requested and court costs and fees, according to court records.

Duarte changed his plea on June 30 and next faces Judge Tyler at a sentencing hearing on Monday, July 25, at 3:30 p.m.