A Bronx day-care provider is accused of making child porn with at least one of the kids in his care, and the NYPD said Monday it’s looking for more possible victims.
Silfredo Castillo Martinez, 32, ran a group day care out of his home on Decatur Ave. near E. Gun Hill Road in Norwood until May 3, when cops busted him on multiple charges involving possession and promoting child pornography.
NYPD computer crime investigators suspected Castillo Martinez was dealing in child porn since July 2011, and police said they found that one of the children in a video went to day care at his center.
The child was 12 years old at the time, an NYPD spokesman said.
Castillo Martinez worked with the older, school-aged children in the back of the center, which did business as Lina’s Garden Day Care, said neighbor Jessica Biel, whose 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter used to attend the center.
“It’s sickening. I trusted him. I really did. I’m astonished. My kids have been in his day care for years,” Biel said. “My son really loved him. He was in his after-school program, in the back. Every child in the day care loved him.”
“He was in charge of the children in the back. Until this, it was the best day-care program we ever had,” she added.
On Monday night, a manila folder hung on the front door of the center with a hand-written note in blue marker reading, “We are temporarily closed.”
Biel said detectives and city Administration for Children’s Services workers have interviewed his son about the arrest.
“I’m astonished. It was very scary. I’ve never talked to my children about intimacy. They’re just little kids,” she said. “I have to send my kids to day care. I have no choice. I have to work. I pray to God nothing was done to them.”
State records show Castillo Martinez was first licensed to run a day care out of his home in October 2019, and that his center had the capacity to care for 12 children between 6 weeks and 12 years old, as well as four additional school-aged children.
His license was suspended May 5 as a result of his arrest and charges against him, those records show, and he’s being held on $300,000 bond or $100,000 cash bail.
Police released Castillo Martinez’s photo on Monday, and ask anyone with more information to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.