Thursday, July 08, 2010

Foreign English teacher flees molestation charges


Korea Beat has translated an article about the case.

Original Post:

Via the Marmot's Hole, a 55 year old American teaching English at an Elementary school in Daegu was to be charged for molesting four male grade 6 students but, as Yonhap reports, he fled the country via Gimhae airport for Japan at 10:27, two and half hours before the Ministry of Justice requested a travel ban (or before said ban was to take effect). As noted at the Marmot's Hole (and reported by YTN),
Two boys in 6th grade say that the teacher locked the door during school time and took their clothes off and touched them. There have been previous incidents when other children came forward and told their home room teacher that he had put them on his lap and put his hands down their shorts, but the English teacher denied it.
The late response of both the school and the police is being criticized, especially because the school didn’t take the charges of sexual abuses seriously and tried to cover it up. That they tried to cover it up shouldn't be that shocking, especially considering what happened in Daegu two years ago.

This is the fifth case of a foreign English teacher molesting students in Korea that I've been able to find in the media. The other four cases (which actually involved police investigations (one of which was dropped)), taken from here, are as follows:

On October 12, 2007 the Maeil Gyeongje, Kookmin Ilbo, YTN, NoCut News Newsis, and Kyunghyang Shinmun and two other internet news outlets reported that a 24 year-old American English teacher had been booked but not detained for molesting a six year old student at the Seoul hagwon where he worked on September 19. He strongly denied it, but CCTV video was entered as evidence.

This January 17, 2008 NoCut News, Segye Ilbo and Yonhap and two other online news outlets reported that a 39 year-old teacher from New Zealand teaching at a hagwon in Haeundae in Busan had been arrested for regularly putting his hands down the pants of a seven year-old girl during class time. As per the Marmot, "According to police, the Kiwi, identified as “T,” moved the alleged victim’s chair to a corner of the classroom so he could molest her without the other children in the class knowing."

An April 25, 2008 Kyunghyang Shinmun article reported that on March 18 a 32 year-old Canadian teacher at 'S' hagwon in Bupyeong-gu, Incheon molested a 9 year old student in the classroom. He confessed after seeing CCTV footage and, saying he did it accidentally after drinking too much makkeolli, and appealed for mercy. As he was working on a tourist visa, his hagwon was fined 4 million won for hiring him.

The most reported case of molestation was when a Canadian teacher was investigated, and then arrested for molesting students at a district office-run foreign language program. On January 14 and 15, 2009, YTN, Maeil Gyeongje, Financial News,the Kookmin Ilbo and six other online news outlets reported on a 41 year-old Canadian teacher being investigated on allegations of molesting three 8 year old girls at a citizens' center in Seong-dong in Seoul the previous October. On February 12, Yonhap, YTN and NoCut News reported that a warrant had been issued for his arrest. This comment may be worth reading.

As it turns out, this is one rare case where the outcome is known. This KBS news report from early July titled "'Out of Control Foreigner English Teacher' Teaches Class while High and Commits Sexual Molestation" reveals that:
in Seoul a native speaking teacher working for a district office-run foreign language program was indicted for molesting a grade one elementary school student under his care in December but last week was cleared for lack of evidence.
The YTN article about this most recent case ended by connecting it to other recent rape cases which occurred at school (or where the victim was snatched from a school).


kushibo said...

This is the fifth case of a foreign English teacher molesting students in Korea that I've been able to find in the media.

Respectfully, I would write that sentence as, "This is the fifth reported case of a foreign English teacher allegedly molesting students in Korea that I've been able to find in the media."

That allows for the fact that not all accusations stem from actual molestation, but it also allows for what are likely at least some situations in which molestation went unreported.

I'm reminded of the creepy Mark McDowell and even creepier Yankee anieyo (see also here).

matt said...

Sure, it could be written that way, but my sentence works better if the next sentence is included:

"This is the fifth case of a foreign English teacher molesting students in Korea that I've been able to find in the media. The other four cases (which actually involved police investigations (one of which was dropped))..."

There are several caveats in those sentences, one being that the cases occurred in Korea, another than they were actually investigated by police, and another that the media reported them. There have been numerous other reports out there, but they either were about teachers with arrests for such behavior in their home countries (or other countries), or were cases alleged by AES and reported in the media but never investigated by police.

A more full accounting of such cases is here.

I'd forgotten the name of Yankee anieyo, but guessed correctly as to what blog it was before clicking the link...

matt said...

By saying "my sentence works better" I meant 'better with the second sentence attached', not 'better than your sentence.'

Oh, and I assumed it went without saying that there were unreported cases out there - there always are.

Another reason for listing those stats is that I've heard teachers say before that if a molestation case ever occurred, it would be the end of the world... and yet there have already been a handful of such cases (with the Neil case being different due to the fact that he was wanted by interpol, and that there were photos of him, which allowed the media to personalize his crime (not just a faceless "C" from Canada). While this most recent case is getting a fair amount of attention, (32 articles on Naver), it will likely be overshadowed by all of the other sexual assaults on children the media have decided to report on lately.