SANTA CRUZ - A 56-year-old Castroville man was sentenced to a year in County Jail and five years of probation for sexually assaulting one of his employees.
Paulino Anguiano Reyes pleaded no contest earlier this year to felony sexual battery for assaulting the woman sometime between late 2010 and early 2011. The woman was an employee at his bakery in Watsonville, according to records.
Judge Ariadne Symons sentenced him Friday, ordering him also to participate in a state-certified sex offender treatment program and register as a sex offender for life. The District Attorney's Office dismissed a charge of rape against him.
Symons said the employee originally had been afraid to report what happened because she was in this country illegally.
"She didn't understand at first that she was entitled to our (country's) protections nonetheless," Symons said of the victim, who didn't attend Friday's sentencing. "I think it's really important to support her in that decision."
Symons said that she'd read numerous letters of support for Reyes from friends and family, but she was concerned that he wasn't taking full responsibility for his actions. His attorney, Miguel Hernandez of Salinas, said his client was remorseful and he was working with him to get counseling.
"I'm very concerned about what appears to be your client's minimizing what happened," Symons said. "This is a very significant offense - threatening your employee and using your position
Reyes, a father of three, said he wants to change and that he "feels ashamed" of his actions.
As part of his probation, Reyes will not be allowed to have knives outside of the workplace and he may not have contact with the woman, who no longer works for him. A protective order has been issued for her. Additionally, Symons said Reyes may not be alone with any female employee without another adult present.
Follow Sentinel reporter Jessica M. Pasko on Twitter: @jmpasko96