Trial begins for accused child molester

January 21, 2010 6:46:32 AM PST
A Spring man is back in court this morning on charges of sexually assaulting several children. Darren Castleberry is charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault. He pleaded guilty to two other counts of sexual assault. In tears on the stand, a wife recalls the day she discovered horrifying sexually explicit pictures involving children. It would take years and an international manhunt before her husband would face justice. And that day has come.

Darren Castleberry was arrested one year ago after being tracked down in Thailand. Castleberry pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to two counts of sexual assault of a child. He is now being tried on two more serious, remaining charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Following an international search, Castleberry was discovered and arrested in Thailand. Police believe he'd fled to Bangkok before his indictments in 2006. He was returned to Texas to face trial.

Prosecutors say he faces 12 counts in all, dating back to 1984, for allegedly raping four girls and videotaping the sex acts. Investigators tell us the youngest victim was just five years old. The oldest was only 10.

The first eyewitness to testify was Castleberry's ex-wife Kimberly. She told the court she located a lockbox in her home in which she found a number of explicit pictures and videos showing someone and several underage girls.

The prosecutor asked, "Was the defendant involved in those pictures?"
"Yes, sir," responded Kimberly Castleberry.
The prosecutor continued, "Could you see the defendant's face in those pictures?"
Kimberly confirmed, "Yes, sir."

Castleberry faces up to life in prison if convicted. At a minimum he'll get 20 years in prison. The trial continues Thursday. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges still before him.