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Man sentenced for neglecting child with Special Needs

A man from Oklahoma was sentenced in federal court Monday for repeatedly neglecting to adequately care for a child with mental and physical special needs, announced U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

U.S. District Judge Claire V. Eagan sentenced 37-year-old Victor Manuel Castro Huerta of Tulsa to 14 months in prison, after ordering Castro Huerta receive credit for the 70-months he has served for his state conviction for the crime.

The federal sentence will run concurrently with the state of Oklahoma’s 35-year sentence.

The adjustment and federal sentence was pursuant to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the agreement between the parties. The sentence took into consideration the plea agreement in which the United States and the defendant agreed to an 84-month sentence. The parties also agreed that Castro Huerta would receive credit for the time he had already served in state prison.

In his plea agreement, Castro Huerta admitted that from 2012 to Nov. 29, 2015, he did not provide adequate nurturance, food, hygiene, sanitation, education, supervision and specialty care, and medical and dental care for a child with cerebral palsy. Specifically, Castro Huerta stated that he did not appropriately care for the victim, his step-daughter, nor transport her to required medical appointments.

Castro Huerta was charged with child neglect in federal court on Nov. 2, 2020, in anticipation that his state conviction would be vacated. The state conviction was later vacated by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals in April 2021.

On June 29, 2022, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals’ ruling.

The defendant remains in federal custody.

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