Child abuse charges dismissed against Brent Castleman, Minot

North Central District Court Judge Doug Mattson dismissed two Class C felony child abuse charges against Brent Allen Castleman, 51, of Minot, at the request of the state on Monday.

Special prosecutor Marie Miller wrote in her motion to dismiss that additional investigation is necessary for the case to be successfully prosecuted.

Castleman had been accused of physically abusing two boys, ages 13 and 11, between June 2018 and May of this year. He had been scheduled to go to trial next week on the charges.

Defense attorney Kyle Craig objected and said the state filed to dismiss the case to get around Castleman’s request for a speedy trial. Miller had acknowledged in her filing that she wanted the case to be dismissed before jeopardy could attach and prevent the state from refiling the charges against Castleman.

At a preliminary hearing in June, Craig argued that there is no physical proof or medical reports and the state had not provided dates for the alleged incidents. There had also been an ongoing battle in family court over Castleman’s visitation with the children. In his objection, Craig notes that Castleman is currently barred from having any contact with the children. Dismissing the charges means he doesn’t have an opportunity to clear his name at trial and risks losing his battle in family court.

Mattson signed the order of dismissal, but wrote in his decision that he takes Castleman’s concerns to heart. If the prosecution decides to refile the charges against Castleman, Mattson ruled that they must first seek court permission unless it first convenes a grand jury and subsequently files an indictment.

In a separate case, Castleman was charged with Class A misdemeanor stalking earlier this month. A pretrial conference in that case is scheduled for Oct. 9 before Judge Todd Cresap. He is also facing two separate Class A misdemeanor charges of violation of a no contact order. A hearing on one of those charges is also scheduled for Oct. 9 before Cresap and the other is scheduled for Aug. 28 before Mattson.