Studied at Lebanon's A.C.S.? FBI needs help in a child abuse case
William James Vahey, 64, who committed suicide in March, reportedly admitted 'giving minors sleeping pills prior to the molestation'
Did you study at the American Community School in Lebanon in the early 1970s or the Saudi Aramco Schools in the 1980s? The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations is asking for help to identify the possible victims of a suspected child predator who taught at those two schools among many others throughout world.
In a press release Tuesday, the FBI said it was seeking help from the public to identify the possible victims of William James Vahey, 64, who committed suicide on March 21, 2014 in Luverne, Minnesota.
Vahey was arrested in California in 1969 on six counts of child molestation and pled guilty to one count, the FBI said. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, followed by five years’ probation.
The FBI said Vahey’s conviction required him to register with the state of California’s sex offender registry for the remainder of his life.
“However, Vahey had not renewed his registration as a sex offender since 1970,” it noted.
Vahey’s death came just days after FBI agents in Houston sought a warrant to search a computer thumb drive belonging to him, the agency said.
The FBI said the USB drive was provided to them by an employee of the American Nicaraguan School in Managua, where Vahey had been teaching ninth graders since August 12, 2013. Vahey’s employment at the Nicaraguan school was terminated on March 12, 2014.
“An employee of the school filed a complaint with the FBI, alleging the USB drive contained pornographic images of minor males who appeared to be asleep or unconscious,” the press release said, adding that the complaint stated “the minors appeared to be middle school-aged, approximately 12 to 14 years old.”
In the report, the employee said he had confronted Vahey about the images and that the teacher later confessed he had been “molested as a child and admitted he molested boys throughout his entire life,” the FBI said.
Valley also reportedly admitted “giving the minors sleeping pills prior to the molestation,” the FBI said, adding that it had yet to identify what drugs, “if any,” were administered to any of the minors.
As part of the ongoing probe, the security agency said it had reviewed photographs dating back to 2008 that depict at least “90 alleged victims.”
The FBI said an investigation into Vahey found he had “engaged in extensive international travel over the past four decades,” while employed as a middle school and high school teacher at several American international schools in at least nine countries.
The FBI listed the countries as Nicaragua, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Iran, Spain, and Lebanon.
According to the FBI’s website, between 1973 and 1975 Vahey was employed as a social studies teacher for middle and high school students at the American Community School in Beirut. Between 1980 and 1992, Vahey also worked for a period of 12 years at Saudi Aramco Schools in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
“Vahey worked in numerous positions which would have afforded him close access to the students who attended these schools,” the press release said.
“In addition to teaching, Vahey coached boys on middle school, junior varsity, and varsity basketball teams at several of the international schools. He also coordinated and accompanied students on various overnight field trips, cultural studies trips, and other educational or athletic travel opportunities for students at these schools,” it added.
The FBI said that while the review is ongoing, the agency is “seeking to notify individuals of the existence of the investigation and encourage additional potential victims to come forward.”