Category Archives: Rotary

#meetoo in student exchange industry

In his article of February 2, 2018 Andrew Binion, journalist with the KitsapSun, writes about 73 year old Larry Iversen who was sentenced to five days in jail for abusing a 17 year old student.

According to the court, Iversen did not use any “power to persuade or coerce the teen”. The student was an exchange student with Rotary’s youth exchange program over which Iversen was Youth Exchange Officer for East Bremerton Rotary and also worked to establish safety guidelines for exchange students in USA.

In these #Meetoo times it shouldn’t be too much to ask that judges see things for what they are. At least Rotary International had the decency to ban Iversen from any and all Rotary clubs.

Her host family discovered the relationship, but not until the exchange student left their family. They had lent the exchange student their smart phone. On it they found nude photos of the exchange student along with messages to and from Iversen. It may well be that the student intended that the predatory  behaviour be discovered as no attempt had been made to delete the pictures that were found on the phone.

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2013 Apr 06: Norton guilty of sexual harrassment

Extracts of an article by Greg Bolt | Appeared in print: Saturday, April 6, 2013, page B1

“… Ronald Valatt Norton, 52, was placed on court probation for two years, ordered to pay $412 in restitution and was ordered to undergo counseling. … Norton and his wife were hosting the female exchange student, who was attending high school here through a program sponsored by Rotary International. But in October the girl received word that her grandfather had died, and she became extremely distraught. … The couple tried to console her and the girl eventually fell asleep in the couple’s bed with them, Hasselman said. That night, he said, Norton touched the girl improperly and she fled to her own room. … After contacting her parents via the Internet, the girl reported the incident to Rotary officials and was immediately removed from the home. She is now with a new host family and continuing her program, a Rotary official said. … Norton originally was charged with third-degree sexual abuse, but he agreed to plead guilty to the lesser harassment charge to avoid a trial.”

The entire article may be found at the Register Guard

2004 May 21: Child sexual abuse in Rotary Student Exchanges