The Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court on Thursday convicted Bernardo Paez, a 60-year-old Mexican schoolteacher, of sexually abusing two girls, aged 12 and 16, and ordered him deported after serving a year in prison.
“The court decided to sentence him to two years, but ordered him to serve a jail term of only one year,” deputy provincial court prosecutor Ros Saram said.
The prosecutor explained that the sentence had been reduced because Mr. Paez “had many diseases and is weak,” but that he would be deported “because we worry that he will commit the crime again.”
Mr. Paez was arrested in June after one of the victims’ families reported her suspected abuse to anti-pedophile NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE), which informed provincial police of the incident, according to APLE director Samleang Seila.
Mr. Seila said Mr. Paez had first met the victims when they were working on the beach and had been in contact with them for several months before sexually assaulting them in his apartment.
“The victims were happy when he got convicted,” Mr. Seila said.