Chilean ‘bad man’ likely to be deported

A Central Otago man who molested a young girl has been jailed for 12 months and will likely be deported, a court has heard.

Cesar Alejandro Carbonell Leon, 43, was sentenced in the Dunedin District Court last month, but Judge David Robinson suppressed his name until yesterday so his family could make arrangements to deal with the news.

The Chilean national was found guilty of sexual contact with a child following a jury trial last year.

Despite the verdict, Carbonell Leon maintained his innocence and the court heard his wife continued to stand by him.

But Judge Robinson said the evidence against the defendant was "pretty overwhelming".

The jury heard while Carbonell Leon’s wife was at work, he stayed with the then 6-year-old victim.

The girl watched something on the defendant’s cellphone as they lay in bed, before the "opportunistic" sex attack took place.

The victim described the man "digging into" her underwear and there was contact over and under her clothing.

The judge said one comment from the young girl particularly resonated.

"The bad man should be taken away."

After lengthy deliberations, Carbonell Leon was found guilty of one charge, not guilty of another and there was a hung jury for a third.

The court heard the girl was now "scared, sad, worried".

"She feels disgusted and betrayed," Judge Robinson said.

Counsel Brian Kilkelly said his client had worked in IT in his homeland before moving to New Zealand with his family in search of a better life.

Carbonell Leon had applied for residency, but that would not be determined by Immigration New Zealand until the criminal case was resolved.

Imprisonment, Mr Kilkelly said, would likely extinguish his hopes of staying in the country and would probably result in him being forcibly returned to Chile.

While Carbonell Leon had been living in the family home on bail since being found guilty, Oranga Tamariki raised concerns about the viability of the address given the presence of children and the defendant’s continued denials.

Judge Robinson said the question of home detention had given him "much anguish", but ultimately, he ruled the offending was too serious, though he gave Carbonell Leon leave to apply for home detention should he find a more suitable address.