Midwood man convicted of raping 13-year-old in Gravesend

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A 42-year-old Midwood man who raped a 13-year-old girl in the laundry room of her Gravesend apartment building almost two years ago was convicted of first-degree rape and an array of other charges on Feb. 18, according to the borough’s top lawman.

Bennett Castello followed his victim into her apartment building and forced her into the building’s laundry room on April 29, 2013 at 3 pm, according to District Attorney Ken Thompson. Then Castello threatened the teenager with scissors, groped and raped her, and then told her he’d kill her if she told anyone what he did to her.

The district attorney said Castello’s heinous attack means he should be ostracized from society — and he said the punishment will fit the crime.

“This defendant’s brutal attack on an innocent and defenseless child is unforgivea­ble,” Thompson said. “He has proven himself unfit to live in a civilized society and now must be locked up as punishment for his deplorable crimes and to protect others.”

Castello was convicted two counts of first-degree rape, two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of first-degree sexual abuse, and one count of first-degree burglary as a sexually motivated felony.

Castello faces 25 years to life in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for March 18.

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at or by calling (718) 260–4507. Follow her
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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