Category Archives: GERMANY

2014 May 05: Exchange year in the US was a nightmare / Austauschjahr in den USA wurde zum Albtraum

From 20 Minuten – Germany
Austauschjahr in den USA wurde zum Albtraum
«Dreckskerl» nannte die EF-Koordinatorin den 16-Jährigen, und seine Gastfamilie kontrollierte ihn von A bis Z. Wie das Austauschjahr eines Zürchers in Kalifornien zum Horror wurde.

storybild
Für den 16-jährigen Konstantin begann das Austauschjahr in Kalifornien – hier die Golden-Gate-Brücke in San Francisco – unschön. (Bild: Keystone/AP/Eric Risberg)

 

«Bist Du bereit für das grosse Abenteuer?», fragt die Firma EF Education First in ihrer Werbung. «Während deines EF High School Years hast du die einmalige Chance, neue Herausforderungen anzunehmen, viele nette Menschen kennen zu lernen, eine Fremdsprache zu erlernen und erwachsen zu werden.» Klingt gut, doch der 16-jährige Konstantin aus Zürich hat keine guten Erinnerungen an den Beginn seines Austauschjahres 2012 in Kalifornien.

Von Beginn sei er in seinem neuen Zuhause mit Vorwürfen konfrontiert gewesen: «Meine Gastmutter baute ein Kontrollsystem auf, verbot mir auszugehen, drohte mir mit Konsequenzen bei Alkoholkonsum und nahm mir meinen Laptop und mein Handy weg», sagte Konstantin dem «Tages-Anzeiger». Sie solle ihn sogar beschuldigt haben, 500 Dollar von ihr gestohlen zu haben. Die Gastmutter und die EF-Hauptkoordinatorin Sandra Woods sollen dabei in permanentem Kontakt gestanden haben. Nach diversen Vorwürfen drohte Konstantin die Kündigung und die frühzeitige Heimreise.

Mehr Provisionen einstreichen

Es kam gemäss «Tages-Anzeiger» der Verdacht auf, dass die Hauptkoordinatorin sehr daran interessiert war, Konstantin frühzeitig nach Hause zu schicken. So könnte sie einen anderen Schüler in der Gastfamilie platzieren und mehrfach Provisionen einstreichen. Diese Vorgehensweise wird im Bericht durch den Ex-EF-Koordinator William Alexander bestätigt, der sich nach seiner Kündigung an das Departement of State in Washington wandte. Zudem bestätigte Alexander laut «Tages-Anzeiger», dass Woods eine persönliche Aversion gegen Konstantin hatte. Alexander suchte für Konstantin schliesslich eine neue Familie, wo er sein EF Highschool Year zu Ende bringen konnte.

Der Fall war aber deswegen noch nicht abgeschlossen. Konstantins Mutter wehrte sich weiter und erreichte schliesslich, dass Danielle Grijalva, Direktorin der ausländischen Studenten in Kalifornien, beim Departement of State eine Beschwerde gegen Woods einreichte. Dabei wurde auch aus dem SMS-Verkehr zwischen Woods und Alexander betreffend dem Austauschschüler Konstantin zitiert. Demnach schrieb Woods Dinge wie «I wish we could just send his ass home.» (Ich wünschte mir, wir könnten diesen A… einfach heimschicken) oder «He’s a punk.» (Er ist ein Dreckskerl).

«Kinder werden hin- und hergeschoben»

Grijalva sagte dem «K-Tipp»: «Das Problem von EF und ähnlichen Organisationen ist, dass sie nicht genug passende Gastfamilien finden. Deshalb werden die Kinder ständig hin- und hergeschoben.» Sie kritisierte auch das Besoldungssystem für EF-Betreuer, die auf Provisionsbasis arbeiteten. Pro Austauschschüler gebe es mindestens 300 Dollar. Je mehr Schüler EF-Betreuer unterbringen würden, desto mehr Boni bekämen sie.

Zwischen der Mutter von Konstantin und dem Zürcher Büro von EF gab es zwar nach diversen Anläufen der Mutter ein Gespräch. Dabei habe EF zwar zugegeben, dass nicht alles optimal gelaufen sei, doch erhielt sie weder eine Entschuldigung noch eine finanzielle Entschädigung. Gegenüber dem «Tages-Anzeiger» äusserte sich EF-Programmleiter Mario Tschopp schriftlich: «Der Fall ist uns bekannt, und wir haben die angezeigten internen Schritte unternommen (…).» Unklar bleibt, ob Woods weiterhin bei EF tätig ist – dazu will man sich aus «Gründen des Persönlichkeitsschutzes» nicht äussern.

——————————————————————-

Google translation:
He had from the beginning been confronted in his new home with allegations: “My host mother built a system of control, forbade me to go out, threatened me with consequences of alcohol consumption and took my laptop and my phone away,” Constantine said the Tages-Anzeiger, She should have even accused him of having stolen $ 500 from her. The host mother and the EFmain coordinator Sandra Woods should it have been in constant contact. After various allegations Constantine threatened termination and early departure.

Reap more commissionsIt came under “Tages-Anzeiger” suspected that the main coordinator was very interested in Constantinople to send home early. So they could place another student in the host family and multiple reap commissions. This approach is confirmed in the report by the ex-EFcoordinator William Alexander, who turned in his resignation to the Department of State in Washington. In addition, according to Alexander confirmed “Tages-Anzeiger” that Woods had a personal aversion to Constantine. Alexander was looking for Constantine finally a new family where he EF High School Year could be put to an end.The case was therefore but not yet completed. Constantine’s mother struggled further, and finally reached that Danielle Grijalva, director of foreign students in California, the Department of State filed a complaint against Woods. Here the exchange student Konstantin was also quoted on the SMS traffic between Woods and Alexander. According to Woods wrote things like I wish We could just send his ass home.” (I wish we could this A … simply send home) or He’s a punk.” (He’s a bastard).“Children are pushed back and forthGrijalva said the “K-Tip“: “The problem of EF and similar organizations, that they can not find enough suitable host families. Therefore, the children are constantly being pushed around. “She also criticized the system of remuneration for EFworkers, who worked on a commission basis. Per exchange students there were at least 300 dollars. The more students would accommodate EFworkers, the more bonuses they would get.

Between the mother of Constantine and the Zurich office of EF although there were various attempts by the mother a call. This EF had indeed admitted that not everything was done perfectly, but received neither an apology nor a financial compensation. Compared to the “Tages-Anzeiger” is EF program director Mario Tschopp expressed written: The case is known to us, and we have the next internal steps taken (…).” It is unclear whether Woods continues to work with EF – to if one is not comment of privacy protection reasons”.

Kevin Garfield Ricks – Work history of a sexual predator

List has been copied from PilotOnline.com

Kevin Garfield Ricks 2010
Kevin Garfield Ricks; Molester of high school/exchange students in various states. See list over places of employment.

Camp Holiday Trails in Charlottesville

Hampton Roads Academy, Newport News, a private school, 1982-83

Northeast Academy, Lasker, N.C., private school, 1984-85

Brandon Hall School, Dunwoody, Ga., a private boarding school, 1985-86

The Cottage School, Roswell, Ga., a private school, 1986-87

Worked at schools in Japan, 1988-95

Danville Public Schools, substitute teacher, 1995-97

Alamance-Burlington Public Schools, Burlington, N.C., full-time teacher, 1996-97

Danville Public Schools, full-time teacher, 1997-98

Danville Public Schools, substitute teacher, 1998-2000

Education First Foundation for Education, host and local coordinator:

“Ricks entered into a foreign exchange program, Education First, and hosted young students from all over the world in his home. A Danish student who was hosted by Ricks, Uffe Emborg, says that after drinking with Ricks one night, he discovered nude photographs of himself by Ricks’s bedside table. Out of fear, Emborg did not report this to the police, and instead burned the photographs with Ricks in the backyard. Ricks and his wife left Danville after Ricks was fired from Education First after being accused of stealing $2,000 from a student’s bank account.” (Wikipedia)

Col. Richardson High School, Caroline County, 2000-03

Wye River Upper School, Wye River, Md., a private school, 2003-04

Walbrook High School, Baltimore Public Schools, 2004-07

American Scandinavian Student Exchange (ASSE), host and local coordinator:

“Even after he stopped teaching in Caroline County, Ricks continued to host foreign exchange students, this time with American Scandinavian Student Exchange. After a German exchange student was removed from Ricks’s home during the 2003-04 school year, a restraining order was filed against Ricks by the student, who alleged that Ricks frequently called and offered gifts. Although the restraining order was not granted, ASSE fired Ricks.” (Wikipedia)

Osbourn High School, Manassas City, 2007-2010

Huntington Learning Center, tutoring, 2007-08

2011 Feb 24: Richard Mink faces trial on charge of taking nude photos of male exchange student

John S. Hausman | jhausman@mlive.comBy John S. Hausman | jhausman@mlive.com 
on February 24, 2011 at 6:57 PM

A 76-year-old Muskegon man who has hosted foreign exchange students for nearly 20 years has been bound over for trial on a charge of manufacturing child pornography.

Richard William Mink of 2520 Glenside on Thursday waived a preliminary hearing in Muskegon County 60th District Court on that 20-year felony. He is accused of taking nude photos of a 16-year-old German male exchange student in 2009.

“Mink was bound over on the top count, and a plea to that count is anticipated,” said Brett Gardner, Muskegon County’s chief assistant prosecutor.

A separate case of second-degree child abuse, involving a 15-year-old South Korean male exchange student in 2010, was dismissed Thursday because the alleged victim does not want to cooperate, Gardner said.

Mink had been accused of abusing the Korean boy in a variety of ways, including paddling the boy on his bare bottom, making him walk naked in front of Mink, and watching him shower and fondling his genitals. In a recent Chronicle interviewMink acknowledged some of those allegations but denied the fondling.

The allegations surfaced in December after the South Korean student, who had been attending a local high school in Muskegon County, told a school counselor that he had been abused, sometimes sexually, at the hands of Mink.

The Muskegon police investigation into the Korean boy’s case led authorities to search Mink’s home, where they discovered nude photos of the German male exchange student, allegedly taken by Mink.

E-mail: jhausman@muskegonchronicle.com

—————————————————————-

2011 Feb 07: Richard Mink of Muskegon charged with two felonies for allegedly abusing two foreign exchange students he hosted at his home

2011 Feb 07: Muskegon’s Richard Mink admits to paddling, forcing exchange student to walk nude in front of him, denies fondling [UPDATE]

2011 Feb 07: Muskegon’s Richard Mink admits to paddling, forcing exchange student to walk nude in front of him, denies fondling [UPDATE]

Heather Lynn Peters | hpeters@mlive.comBy Heather Lynn Peters | hpeters@mlive.com 
on February 07, 2011 at 7:02 PM, updated February 08, 2011 at 9:12 AM

MUSKEGON — A Muskegon man admitted in a Muskegon Chronicle interview Monday that he paddled a 15-year-old foreign exchange student from South Korea on his bare bottom, made him walk naked in front of him and watched the boy shower — but says it was all for the boy’s own good.

“He was very shy and he expressed a concern about walking around the locker room nude at the gym,” said Richard William Mink, who hosted the boy at his home from August to December 2010. “I had him practice. I had him walk back and forth nude in the bedroom. I was in there, but it was very dimly lit and I couldn’t really see him.”

Mink, 75, of 2520 Glenside, who said he has hosted foreign exchange students for nearly 20 years, has been charged with two felonies for allegedly abusing two teen boys, one from Germany and the student from South Korea.

Mink has been arraigned in Muskegon County’s 60th District Court before Judge Andrew Wierengo III on one count of child abusive commercial activity — producing child pornography — and one count of second-degree child abuse in connection with two separate cases involving the two unrelated international students.

Mink is accused of taking nude photos of the German student some time in 2008 and abusing the other student in a variety of ways, including fondling the South Korean boy’s genitals, claiming it was a “medical examination,” police said.

Mink denied the fondling accusation, but admits to other claims made by the boy in December.

“I paddled him, yes. I paddled him for being mean to my animals, for one reason. I paddled him once for not turning in his assignments at school,” Mink said.

However, he claims he never fondled the student.

“I did not do that. I think he said that because I made him have his hair cut. I mean, how do you defend yourself about a boy who says things about you that aren’t true?” Mink said. “I won’t be able to show my face when this goes in the paper.”

Mink is free on two $20,000 signature bonds — one for each case —  issued by Wierengo. The judge set his preliminary examination for Thursday. Mink said he’s hired Muskegon attorney Ronald Pannucci.

Both exchange students were immediately removed from Mink’s home when the initial complaints were filed, said Muskegon Police Department Lt. Leah Fenwick.

The allegations surfaced in December after the South Korean student, who had been attending a local high school in Muskegon County, told a school counselor that he had been abused, sometimes sexually, at the hands of Mink.

A school official then reported the teen’s claims to authorities, Fenwick said.

“He said he was inappropriately touched,” Fenwick said.

The victim also said Mink forced him to sleep nude, shower with others staying at the house and “touched the teen on his genitals and claimed he was doing a medical examination,” Fenwick said.

Mink also allegedly struck the boy on his “bare bottom” and spanked him with a “flat stick,” Fenwick said.

Mink told The Chronicle that he had the boy shower with the shower curtain “partially open” while Mink was in the bathroom, but only so he could “show the boy” how to operate the shower.

The investigation into the recent claims led authorities to search Mink’s home, where they discovered nude photos of a 16-year-old Germany male exchange student, apparently taken by Mink, Fenwick said.

One photo showed the 16-year-old boy completely naked, during the day at a Muskegon-area beach, Fenwick said.

An investigation into whether any additional criminal activity occurred between Mink and other exchange students is ongoing, Fenwick said.

The South Korean student was connected with Mink through Ayusa Global Youth Exchange. The organization’s website indicates it is a nonprofit organization designated by the U.S. Department of State. It wasn’t clear how Mink came in contact with the German student.

Sherry Carpenter, executive director of Ayusa, a nationwide group with a field office in Ada, said the organization was devastated to hear of the alleged abuse.

“The moment Ayusa became aware of the unfortunate incident involving one of our foreign exchange students, we immediately removed the student from the host family. We then quickly followed all Ayusa and U.S. Department of State policies and procedures, including reporting and contacting the authorities,” Carpenter said in a statement to The Chronicle.

Carpenter said last year was the first time Mink ever hosted an exchange student with Ayusa.

E-mail: hpeters@muskegonchronicle.com

——————————————————————-

2011 Feb 07: Richard Mink of Muskegon charged with two felonies for allegedly abusing two foreign exchange students he hosted at his home

2011 Feb 07: Richard Mink of Muskegon charged with two felonies for allegedly abusing two foreign exchange students he hosted at his home

Heather Lynn Peters | hpeters@mlive.comBy Heather Lynn Peters | hpeters@mlive.com 
on February 07, 2011 at 9:58 AM, updated February 07, 2011 at 5:10 PM

MUSKEGON — A 75-year-old Muskegon man who has hosted foreign exchange students for more than a decade has been charged with two felonies for allegedly abusing two teen boys, one from Germany and the other from South Korea.

M0208EXCHANGE.jpgRichard William Mink

Richard William Mink, 2520 Glenside, was arraigned recently in Muskegon County 60th District Court before Judge Andrew Wierengo III on one count of child abusive commercial activity — producing child pornography — and one count of second-degree child abuse in connection with two separate cases involving two unrelated international students.

Mink is free on a $20,000 signature bond issued by Wierengo. The judge set his preliminary examination for Thursday.

Both males were immediately removed from Mink’s home when the initial complaints were filed, said Muskegon Police Department Lt. Leah Fenwick.

The most recent case involves a 15-year-old male from South Korea who began staying with Mink in August 2010, Fenwick said.

The teen, who had been attending a local high school in Muskegon County, reported to a school counselor that he had been abused, sometimes sexually, at the hands of Mink.

A school official then reported the teen’s claims to authorities, Fenwick said.

“He said he was inappropriately touched,” Fenwick said.

The victim also said Mink forced him to sleep nude, shower with others staying at the house and “touched the teen on his genitals and claimed he was doing a medical examination,” Fenwick said.

Mink also allegedly struck the boy on his “bare bottom” and spanked him with a “flat stick,” Fenwick said.

The investigation into the recent claims led authorities to search Mink’s home where they discovered nude photos of a 16-year-old Germany male exchange student, apparently taken by Mink, Fenwick said.

One photo showed the 16-year-old victim completely naked, during the day at a Muskegon-area beach, Fenwick said.

An investigation into whether any additional criminal activity occurred between Mink and other exchange students is ongoing, Fenwick said.

The South Korean student was connected with Mink through Ayusa Global Youth Exchange, which it’s website lists as a non-profit organization designated by the U.S. Department of State. It wasn’t clear how Mink came in contact with the German student.

Sherry Carpenter, Executive Director of Ayusa, said the organization was devastated to hear of the alleged abuse.

“The moment Ayusa became aware of the unfortunate incident involving one of our foreign exchange students we immediately removed the student from the host family. We then quickly followed all Ayusa and U.S. Department of State policies and procedures, including reporting and contacting the authorities,” Carpenter said in a statement to the Chronicle.

Carpenter said last year was the first time Mink ever hosted an exchange student with Ayusa.

E-mail:

hpeters@muskegonchronicle.com

2012 Jun 26: Child porn manufacture case against Muskegon exchange-student host dismissed

John S. Hausman | jhausman@mlive.com By John S. Hausman | jhausman@mlive.com / The Muskegon Chronicle on updated June 26, 2012 at  5:50 PM

Richard-Mink.jpgRichard Mink

MUSKEGON, MI – The case against Richard William Mink of Muskegon, a longtime foreign-exchange student host charged with manufacturing child pornography of a student, has been dismissed because the alleged victim refuses to return from Germany to testify.

The Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the case Tuesday morning “without prejudice,” meaning prosecutors could refile it later if the alleged victim becomes available.

The trial for Mink, 77, of Muskegon had been scheduled to begin Tuesday. He was charged with a 20-year felony.

Mink had been accused of taking nude photos of a 16-year-old German male exchange student in 2009. The case had been pending for some 18 months, but trial was repeatedly delayed when the victim declined to return to the United States.

An earlier case against Mink of second-degree child abuse, involving a 15-year-old South Korean male exchange student in 2010, was dismissed in February 2011 for the same reason.

Mink had been accused of abusing the Korean boy in a variety of ways, including paddling the boy on his bare bottom, making him walk naked in front of Mink, and watching him shower and fondling his genitals. In a Chronicle interview in February 2011 Mink acknowledged some of those allegations but denied the fondling.

Both allegations surfaced in December 2010 after the South Korean student, who had been attending a local high school in Muskegon County, told a school counselor that he had been abused, sometimes sexually, at the hands of Mink.

The Muskegon police investigation into the Korean boy’s case led authorities to search Mink’s home, where they discovered nude photos of the German male exchange student, allegedly taken by Mink.