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Adrian Castillo Cabuyao (42) appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to the indecent assault, which took place in June last year.
The victim, who said she had considered the defendant a friend, had endured “sleepless nights, depression, trauma, sadness and fear” since the incident.
She called Cabuyao a “coward” and expressed anger at the time it had taken him to admit guilt.
“I have not forgiven you,” she told the court.
“It’s so hard to forgive a person who does not repent.”
The victim had been hosting a birthday party at her
home and guests engaged in drinking and dancing, the court heard.
At 10.30pm, she went to bed.
Shortly afterwards, Cabuyao followed.
His touching of her abdomen caused her to slowly wake up but before she was fully aware of what was happening, the defendant pulled down her pyjama pants and molested her.
The groping, over clothing, continued for five seconds before the victim rolled over and kicked him, a court summary said.
Cabuyao immediately apologised and rejoined the party.
While he sat in a chair and pretended to sleep, the victim entered and punched him twice in the face.
When she explained to her husband what had happened, he struck Cabuyao over the head with a pot.
“I’m so sorry ... I didn’t mean to. Kill me now, kill me now,” the defendant said.
The victim’s husband was charged over the assault but was discharged without conviction.
Counsel Adriana Pinnock said her client deserved the same treatment.
“It was fleeting; it was opportunistic.
‘‘Yes, it was in the bedroom, where the victim was entit-
led to feel safe, yes it was
an invasion of her privacy ... [but] it was a single fleeting touch,” Ms Pinnock said.
The court heard the defendant was on an essential-skills work visa, which expired in a year.
Ms Pinnock argued the consequences of a conviction could be the declining of that visa or deportation, which would be “horrendous” for the man’s wider family back home whom he financially supported.
The Crown echoed the victim’s view in opposing the application for discharge, and stressed the woman had lost nearly $4000 for time she spent off work.
While Judge David Robinson accepted there was now a possibility Cabuyao would be deported, that possibility would exist regardless of whether he was convicted.
“It’s important the courts do not take over the function of the immigration services,” he said before declining the application.
The court heard Cabuyao had been a recluse since the incident, ostracised by the Filipino community.
“It would be counterproductive to further confine you and I would prefer to see you out in the community giving back,” the judge said.
Cabuyao was sentenced to six months’ supervision and 250 hours’ community work.
He was ordered to pay the victim $1000.