HAVANA (Reuters) - A Canadian oil worker was convicted of sexually corrupting a 14-year old Cuban girl and sentenced by a Cuban court to 25 years in jail, officials said on Saturday.
Cuban authorities arrested Perry King, 40, of Edmonton, Alberta, in August and charged him in February with three counts of sexual involvement with a minor. His trial took place on April 10 and the verdict was rendered on Thursday.
“Mr. King has been found guilty and sentenced to 25 years imprisonment. He intends to appeal,” a spokeswoman for the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Kimberly Phillips, said in Ottawa.
Cuban sources said the girl aged 14 lived in Matanzas, a port city east of Havana, and King worked for a Canadian company involved in the local oil industry.
Canadian press reports said King’s lawyer in Edmonton, Sid Tarrabain, complained that his client was convicted on insufficient evidence presented in a one-day trial and his family hoped to clear him name.
Canada and Cuba have an exchange agreement that would allow King to serve his sentence in his home country.
Phillips said the Canadian embassy had requested permission to visit King in a jail outside Havana, where he went on hunger strike late last year while waiting to be charged.