The FBI is seeking the public’s assistance in finding victims of what they describe as one of the worst alleged sexual predators they have seen. Currently over 90 victims are known to have been abused by William James Vahey, who killed himself at age 64 after the FBI began their investigation into his conduct.
FBI Special Agent Shauna Dunlap told KPRC Television in Houston, “This is one of the most prolific alleged predators we’ve ever seen.” While Vahey was from South Carolina, the Houston FBI office was called in to assist the investigation because of possible contacts Vahey may have had with children of Houston area families.
A press release from the FBI revealed that Vahey worked at the American School in Nicaragua. Court documents revealed Vahey engaged in extensive international travel over the past four decades and worked as a school teacher at American International Schools in at least nine different countries. These countries include: Nicaragua, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Iran, Spain, and Lebanon.
As far back as 1969, Vahey was arrested in California for six counts of child molestation. He pled guilty to one count and spent 90 days in jail and five years on probation. During the investigation, the FBI reports they have reviewed photographs as recent as 2008 and have identified at least 90 alleged victims.
The children in the photographs appear to be between 12 and 14 years of age. The images, stored on a thumb drive, contained detailed information about locations and dates, according to the FBI release. When the complaining witness from the American School in Nicaragua confronted Vahey about the images on the thumb drive, Vahey admitted he had been molested as a child and that he had molested young boys throughout his entire life. He also admitted giving the children sleeping pills prior to molesting them.
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.
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