A Texas woman, accused of subjecting her adopted daughter to more than 15 years of sexual abuse and even using her as a baby surrogate, was sentenced to 33 years in prison this week.
Laura Castillo pleaded guilty on Friday to three counts of aggravated sexual assault. She and husband Eusebio were accused of forcing Abigail Alvarado, their adopted daughter and niece, into performing repeated sexual acts with them for at least 15 years. Eusebio fathered three children with Alvarado. The siblings were raised believing Laura Castillo was their mother and Alvarado, an older sister.
According to court documents, authorities began to investigate the couple in 2014 when Alvarado reached out to police about abuse she alleged began when she was nine-years-old. The San Antonio Express-News reported that, in 1996, when the victim was eight years old, Child Protective Services removed her, a younger brother, and an older sister from the custody of their biological mother, Maria Rodriguez, because of a drug and alcohol addiction that left her unable to parent her children. The children were placed in a shelter where they remained until the older sister suggested contacting their uncle Eusebio, a sergeant in the U.S. Army stationed in Honolulu. He was also Rodriguez’s brother. He and wife Laura agreed to care for the children. They were granted guardianship and later, adopted the three siblings.
Alvarado told authorities the sexual abuse began almost immediately after she arrived in Hawaii. She claimed her uncle climbed into her bunk bed at night and molested her. Alvarado said she tried to tell Laura Castillo but to no avail as her adoptive mother did not believe her. According to Laura’s 2017 indictment, the abuse graduated to rape and Laura Castillo forced Alvarado to perform sexual acts on Eusebio and herself.
In 2001, Eusebio left the army and the family returned to Texas where they moved around from Houston to Laredo, then Mission and San Antonio. Authorities believe that the couple ultimately fled to San Juan, Texas, where they were arrested last year.
Around the time she was 15-years-old, Alvarado said Laura Castillo demanded the teen become a “surrogate mother” for her husband since Laura was unable to conceive a child. At the age of 17, Alvarado gave birth to her first child, followed by a second pregnancy in 2008. Three years later, she gave birth to another baby. They were all raised believing Alvarado was their older sister. However, DNA testing corroborated that Alvarado was their biological mother and Eusebio, their father.
In San Antonio the Castillos used the eldest of Alvarado’s children in a “miracle child” ruse, claiming she had healing powers to cure cancer patients. The couple founded a chapel in their home and collected collected donations from desperate visitors. Eusebio Castillo apparently told Alvarado they would marry once Laura died, have more children, and continue their chapel work.
Alvarado, now an adult, described those years living with the Castillos as as riddled with brainwashing, manipulation, stalking, assault, and horror. Last year, she told the San Antonio newspaper she did not come forward to police sooner because Eusebio threatened to kill himself and her children if she spoke to authorities.
Eusebio Castillo awaits trial in Bexar County. He faces charges on the aggravated sexual assault of a child.
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