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THE WORLD | IN BRIEF / MEXICO

U.S. Cosmetologist Released, Free to Stay

July 19, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

After 17 months in a Mexico City prison and two harrowing nights in a nearby immigration detention center, American cosmetologist Joseph Pantuso was given his freedom and permission to continue living in Mexico.

Although immigration officials ruled that Pantuso, 59, can stay in the country, it is unclear whether he will be able to resume his chemical face-peeling business.

Pantuso's work status was in doubt because of his conviction on a negligence-related charge in the death of an elderly client undergoing the treatment in December 1997.

Pantuso's lawyers scrambled for two days to determine whether he could stay in Mexico or would be deported. Pantuso has said he prefers to stay in Mexico, where he has lived for two decades.

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