Jun 07, 2013

    Teacher held for child sex abuse in China

    AN AMERICAN teacher at an elite French school in Shanghai has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting at least seven children, school officials and parents said yesterday.

    The news comes after a former instructor at the school, who is also an American, was extradited to the United States last year on similar charges, they said.

    The kindergarten teacher was seized by Chinese police last month after seven families filed formal accusations against him, alleging sexual abuse and rape of children of both sexes, several parents said.

    One mother, who requested anonymity to protect her child's privacy, said: "As parents, we are devastated."

    She said that her child started behaving oddly soon after they moved to the country.

    "My daughter was having nervous breakdowns, she was scratching herself on her face and thighs. As we had just arrived in China, I figured it was due to exhaustion from moving countries, (so) I didn't worry about it," she said, adding that she linked the unusual behaviour to abuse only later.

    Management at the Lycee Francais de Shanghai said: "Families have lodged complaints with the Chinese police against a teacher at the Lycee Francais de Shanghai over assaults on their children.

    "The investigation is being carried out by the Chinese police...

    "The teacher has been in administrative detention since his arrest."

    Another mother said she suspected that her daughter had been abused over a period of months, and that cases of abuse of other children could be traced back as far as five years.

    She said: "We are living a nightmare."

    The other former teacher, who is an acquaintance of the arrested teacher, was "extradited by the Chinese authorities to the US last December, following an investigation into sexual touching and violence against minors", the school said in an e-mail message.