SALINAS — Former city council member Jose Castaneda has been found guilty on two charges of felony kidnapping, domestic violence, and stalking. The jury did not reach a unanimous verdict on a sexual battery charge.
The jury deliberated for two days after hearing testimony from the victim, a former girlfriend, who recalled the night of September 5, 2015. On that night, Castaneda apparently approached her and asked to talk, but dragged her down the driveway and pushed her into a van when she refused. He then drove her half a mile away and began striking her in the head, arms, and legs.
He also asked for her phone, to which she refused and for which she was beaten further in the back seat. He released her only after her phone died. She was then allowed to walk home, barefoot.
She did not report the incident until two days later, when he showed up again. With the help of a friend, she called police and Castaneda was arrested two days later. He managed to post the $100,000 bond.
He was remanded into custody and the judge read his verdict. His sentencing is due for June 22.
Castaneda’s attorney has filed a motion for a new trial, stating that Castaneda’s sixth amendment rights were violated — claiming that he did not have adequate time to study the evidence nor conduct an investigation of his own.