MIAMI (CBS4)- Cuban painter Agustin Bejarano maintained he is innocent of charges that he sexually molested a 5-year-old Hialeah boy.
A written not-guilty plea was entered Thursday on Bejarano’s behalf by the Miami-Dade County public defender’s office. Bejarano, who was born in Camaguey, but lives in Havana, was arrested at a friend’s house and is being held without bail on the felony charge of lewd and lascivious molestation of a minor.
Police said the 46-year-old Bejarano molested the young son of a Hialeah couple he visited last month. Bejarano came to Miami on March 17 on a one-month visa to attend the art fair “Art of the Americas” in the Miami Beach Convention Center.
After the boy told his parents about the incident and they notified police, he was interviewed Monday by experts at Kristi House, a center for abused children. Those experts concluded the boy’s account of what happened was accurate, and police moved immediately to arrest Bejarano.
He was scheduled to return to Cuba April 15th.
If convicted, Bejarano could face life in prison. He was ordered held without bond, and US immigration officials were notified.
Bejarano’s paintings have been exhibited at Cuba’s National Museum of Fine Arts and at galleries in the U.S., Switzerland, Mexico and Canada.
If convicted he faces a potential life prison sentence.