While Castillo could have faced more than 20 years in jail if convicted on all charges, Schmauss said she considered the plea bargain "in the best interest for both sides."
"The victim does not to have to relive this in front of the public," she said. "The victim is 15 years old now, in high school. He wants to live his life."
Ted Campos, a longtime friend of Castillo who had helped organized efforts to exonerate the priest, was not aware when contacted that Castillo had been in court on Monday.
"Personally, I'm sad it's come to this point," he said.
The Coalition to Exonerate Father Alex, comprised of more than a dozen parishioners from Our Lady of Guadalupe, had posted Castillo's bail in November when the group raised $24,000.
Campos said he would be in contact with members of the coalition in the next couple of days to inform them of the plea.
Joelle Casteix, western regional director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, commended the young victim for coming forward.
In most cases, sexual abuse victims take anywhere from 10 to 30 years to report a crime, she said.
"I hope this gives other survivors the courage to come forward and report their abuse," she said.
Casteix called Monday's guilty plea a victory not only for the victim but for anyone who has been a victim of a sexual crime.
The guilty plea shows, "it's far worse than we thought," she said.
Castillo is not allowed to have contact with his former parishioners. But Casteix is concerned there are more victims.
"No child molester has one victim. Usually there's various states of grooming (victims)," she said.
She encouraged any victims to report their abuse to the police.
Castillo was a priest at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Rialto for three years before moving to Our Lady of Guadalupe in 2003. He also served as priest at St. George in Ontario from 2006 to 2008.
Castillo joined the San Bernardino Diocese in 1988, serving with St. Anthony Parish in San Bernardino. From 1991 through 1996, Castillo worked in the diocese's Pastoral Center in Ministry.
In 1996, he left the diocese to work for the Sacramento-based California Catholic Conference, a state organization that represents bishops.
Castillo was with the conference until 2000 when he returned to San Bernardino.
Police were first informed of the incidents involving the victim on June 25.
Castillo resigned from the Ontario church in November after he was released on bail.
Officials with the San Bernardino County Diocese did not return requests for comment.
Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.