A 60-year-old Mexican, Pina Paez Bernado, was sentenced to two-year imprisonment with a one-year suspension for sexually abusing two girls aged 12 and 16 years old. The Sihanouk provincial court also ordered him to pay 10 million riel compensation to 2 plaintiffs, and ordered his deportation after completing his sentence.
With assistance from APLE Cambodia, police arrested Bernado in June 2015 after sufficient evidence was collected. His victims were sent to aftercare facility where they received all the necessary support.
APLE was pleased with the child-friendly procedure employed by the court in this case. The use of privacy screen in the courtroom was a big step towards protecting children within the court process.
"We are confident that Cambodian courts will become child-sensitive in all future cases involving children testifying. This will increase likelihood of young victims speaking out in court," said Seila Samleang, APLE Executive Director.