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FBI: Groomed-For-Sex Indiana Girl, 15, Rescued After Paterson Man Pays Uber To Bring Her To NJ

FBI agents, U.S. Marshals and detectives from the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office rescued the girl and arrested Arnold Castillo of Paterson.
FBI agents, U.S. Marshals and detectives from the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office rescued the girl and arrested Arnold Castillo of Paterson. Photo Credit: Boyd A. Loving (file photo)

A 22-year-old Paterson man showered a 15-year-old Indiana girl he'd met online with money, gifts and compliments before paying an Uber driver to bring her to him for sex, federal authorities said.

Arnold Castillo "groomed" the girl, gaining her trust and alienating her from her family and other support systems before convincing her to leave Lawrence, IN, for New Jersey, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Southern Indiana charged.

Castillo "paid and arranged for an Uber driver to pick up the minor and transport her across state lines to him," alleges to an FBI complaint on file in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis.

Assisted by Uber, authorities reportedly traced the girl to Castillo's home in Paterson.

FBI agents, U.S. Marshals and detectives from the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office rescued the girl in May and seized Castillo, federal authorities said.

The youngster was reunited with her mother. Castillo was brought before a U.S. District Court magistrate judge in Newark before being sent to Indianapolis.

He was later ordered held there on charges of enticement of a minor and interstate transportation of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity. Castillo also faces state charges in New Jersey.

Castillo, using the name "Jacob Shedletsky," connected with the girl on social media in February, the FBI complaint says. He began grooming her soon after, it says.

First, Castillo sent her $45 through CashApp for an anime drawing she'd posted on a social media app, the complaint says.

He then bought and sent her gifts from online retailers -- including an artist glove for a drawing tablet, a tablet drawing stand and a Windows 10 computer that sells for $2,600 -- it says.

Castillo also sent the youngster money and "showered her with praise," federal authorities allege.

Eventually, he convinced her to come to New Jersey, federal authorities said. He paid Uber $500 upfront, then gave the driver an additional $500 when she arrived after a journey of more than 700 miles, they said.

The girl was reported missing on May 3. She was rescued eight days later, authorities said.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Zachary A. Myers and Herbert J. Stapleton, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Indianapolis Field Office, thanked the FBI's Garrett Mountain Resident Agency Violent Crimes Task Force in Woodland Park and the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office for rescuing the girl.

They also cited the assistance of U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Philip R. Sellinger's office, among other law enforcement agencies.

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