Afternoon News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on October 28, 2022
The Oakfield man charged earlier this month in Genesee County with repeatedly raping a child now faces similar charges in Wyoming County. 39-year-old Ricardo Castillo Jr. was charged after a joint investigation by Wyoming and Genesee county sheriff’s departments. Castillo is accused of forcibly raping a person and also raping a child under 15 while in the town of Sheldon. He was arraigned and committed to Wyoming County Jail with bail set at $100,000. Castillo earlier in October was charged in Genesee with 13 counts each of first-degree rape and first degree criminal sexual act; and 10 counts each of second-degree rape and second-degree criminal sexual act involving a victim less than 15 years old. The assaults happened in Oakfield and Elba from November 2019 to August 2021, investigators said. At that time, he was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.
County Manager Matt Landers has released his recommended budget for the legislature to consider. It totals $162,567,180; $3,593,714 more than the budget for 2022. Highlights include $70 million for the new County Jail; as well as earmarked money for phase three of the County Water System project. The 2023 recommended budget does raise the tax levy by 2.00% in 2023, but adheres to the New York State property tax cap.
41-year-old Wesley Thigpen of Batavia is currently in Groveland Correctional Facility, serving a prison term for sexually assaulting a child who was less than 13 years old. His expected release could have come as early as January. He has now pleaded guilty to predatory sexual assault against a child, the most severe sex-related crime under New York penal law. Thigpen at first rejected any notion of a plea and instead made a motion to have Genesee County Court recuse itself from the proceedings. That motion was denied and Thigpen ultimately accepted a plea deal to the felony charges with the promise of a sentence of 10 years to life in prison. The maximum sentence for that charge is 25 years to life. Thigpen will be sentenced November 9. The sentence will be consecutive to the 3 1/2 to four-year term he is currently serving.
The teenage driver arrested in connection with a deadly rollover crash that happened in Buffalo earlier this week is scheduled to be in court today. Police say the 16-year-old was behind the wheel of a stolen vehicle Monday when it was involved in the accident on the westbound entrance to the Scajaquada Expressway from the inbound Kensington Expressway. At the time of the crash, there were six people in the vehicle and four of them ended up being killed. A 14-year-old girl was also injured but is expected to survive. The suspect, whose name hasn’t been made public due to his age, is facing multiple charges.
A Brighton High School physics teacher is in some serious trouble with the law after being accused of having child pornography. Investigators say a search of 44-year-old Louis Carusone’s home in Webster led to the discovery of over two-thousand disturbing images and more than 20 videos. Carusone made an appearance in court yesterday and was released but will be under electronic monitoring. In a statement, the Brighton Central School District said Carusone won’t be returning in any capacity. The charges carry a penalty of 5-20 years in prison. (Released photo)
The latest data released by the state shows there’s been a decline in the spread of COVID-19 in our region. Right now, the seven-day average infection rate is 6.44%. At this time one week ago, the infection rate was at 7.65%. As a reminder, anyone who wants to get a COVID-19 vaccine or receive the latest booster shot can find an immunization clinic in our area by going to vaccines.gov.
Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin has brought his campaign for New York governor to Rochester as he looks to continue building support. The main issue that Zeldin addressed during yesterday’s visit was his ongoing criticism of the state’s bail laws. Zeldin claims Governor Hochul isn’t doing enough to hold criminals accountable for their actions. Recent polls show that while Governor Hochul is leading the race, the Republican Zeldin has closed the gap in the last few weeks.
The early voting period gets underway in New York tomorrow and the state Attorney General’s Office says the Election Protection Hotline will be up and running. The hotline be reached by calling 866-390-2992 and it’ll be available from 9:am until 6:00pm through November 6th and from 6:00am until 9:00pm on Election Day. Written requests for election-related help can also be submitted using an online form. The AG’s office also is reminding New Yorkers that they have to right to vote free of intimidation and coercion.
The Buffalo Sabres have dropped their second straight game after falling to a longtime rival on home ice. Jeff Skinner and Dylan Cozens had the goals for the Sabres as they were beaten by the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 at KeyBank Center last night. Buffalo goaltender Eric Comrie gave up three goals on the 34 shots he faced in the contest. Up next for the Sabres is a home game against the Chicago Blackhawks tomorrow night at 7:00.
After having last week off, the Buffalo Bills are going to be back in action Sunday as they try and extend their winning streak to four games. The Bills are hosting Aaron Rodgers and the struggling Green Bay Packers at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. Buffalo last played a game October 16th when they beat the Kansas City Chiefs 24 to 20 and improved their record this season to five wins and one loss. Kickoff for Sunday evening’s contest is set for 8:20.
Lottery players across the Empire State are hoping that luck will be on their side as they try and win the 2nd largest Powerball jackpot in the history of the game. Because no one matched all six winning numbers Wednesday, the prize up for grabs tomorrow night will be at least at least $800,000,000. The biggest jackpot in Powerball history was over one-point-five billion dollars back in 2016. The drawing will be streamed online at powerball.com. Good luck! Please play responsibly.