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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Former Jakarta International School Teacher William Vahey Suspected Of Life - Long Child Sex Abuse

Pedophile roots go deep; a thorough investigation covering JIS teachers past and present required

NEWCASTLE HERALD
By Michael Bachelard
04/23/2014

JAKARTA -
A teacher who plied the international school circuit for 40 years has been revealed as a lifelong child sex abuser with potentially hundreds of victims in schools in nine countries including Indonesia.
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation sent out an international alert on Tuesday for information about teacher William (Bill) James Vahey, who they believe may be one of the worst paedophiles they have ever dealt with.

A former colleague who knows of the case told Fairfax Media that Vahey's attacks on adolescent boys happened on school trips, where he would drug them with sleeping pills then molest them.


Vahey taught social studies between 1992 and 2002 at the Jakarta International School, which has Australian embassy representation on the board and is attended by many children of Australian expatriates. The school is already reeling from a scandal in which a five-year-old boy was allegedly raped by outsourced cleaning company employees on the campus in February and again in March.

Vahey, an American citizen, started teaching on the international school circuit in 1972, shortly after pleading guilty to child molestation as a swimming instructor in California in 1970 and being placed on a sex register.

In a long career, he also taught in Iran, Lebanon, Spain, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and the United Kingdom before a maid who stole a USB drive at his last posting in Nicaragua found pornographic images there.

The American Nicaraguan School sacked Vahey in March and a police investigation discovered photographs of him sexually abusing 90 different boys who appeared to be aged 12 to 14, all of whom were unconscious. But the photographs date only to 2008, prompting fears of hundreds more victims in the previous four decades.
Please click to enlarge image
After he was confronted by a colleague in Nicaragua, Vahey is reported to have said he himself was molested as a boy, "and that is why I do this - I have been doing this my whole life", according to statements filed in a US court.

"Vahey further stated he 'never hurt any of the boys'," according to the court statements. He claimed the boys were completely asleep and that he had used sleeping pills to drug them.

Vahey committed suicide in a hotel room in his mother’s home town of Luverne, Minnesota, last month, days after the FBI launched an investigation.

Fairfax Media understands this was his second suicide attempt - the first was in Nicaragua in November, the day after his maid stole his camera and USB drive. He recovered from the attempt and returned to school, believing his secret safe. However, he was sacked in March when the maid handed over the drive days before he was due to take children on another school trip. She said that, despite having stolen the USB drive, she could not have the images on her conscience.

A former colleague says the case should make parents wary of sending their children on school trips.

Vahey worked at the Southbank International School in England between 2009 and 2013, and an undated school newsletter from the time reveals he started a travel club for students to take "a more leisure-based approach to education through travel with the emphasis firmly on fun".

The newsletter describes a 10-day trip in which "a lucky group of students and teachers spent 10 days enjoying a variety of physical, social, historical, recreational and natural history experiences".

Fairfax Media has approached the Jakarta International School and the US embassy in Jakarta for comment.

Disclosure: The author has two children at the Jakarta International School.


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