Where Facts And Controversy In The News Come Together In Truth
According to the 2012 appeal, in the autumn of 2007 a foreign exchange student from South-Korea came forward and accused Richard Young, his host-father, of sexual abuse.
Young had hosted students several times through the exchange organization, Face The World Foundation (FTWF). He was the host-parent of this exchange student. Before arrival the two had contact and the student claimed Young “was obsessed with the sexual interests by teenagers.” At one time the student had been asked to send nude photograph of himself to Young. Upon arrival, August 1, Young continued talking about masturbation and teen sex. The first evening the student was given vaseline and tissue and encouraged the student to masturbate.
The talk about sex was kept up and Young kept on asking the student if he was gay. After grooming the student, Young touched the student’s genitals. At that time the boy was told to undress. They both laid down naked, and Young continued to touch the boy. Young told the boy not to speak to anyone of what had happened.
Young instigated another fondling session. This time the student was able to tell Young that he did not want this kind of behavior to continue. After that Young stopped.
At school, the exchange student’s behavior changed. The older exchange student also living with Young claimed the boy must be bipolar. So, that is what the boy said of his changed behavior. The boy did not speak of what had happened. Groomed people seldom do. The school became more and more concerned and contacted FTWF. Chaple sent the student to a psychologist. After that the exchange organization decided the student must return to South-Korea.
The exchange organization sent the student out of Kansas, and he stayed in Philadelphia with a friend of his family. The exchange organization representative, Connie Chaple, told the exchange student he had to leave the country in two weeks. They boy told his father about the abuse and the father advised the student to get a lawyer.
However, Young was arrested and his house searched. Young was a frequent visitor of Asian gay and hetero porn sites. Young did not speak up in his own defence. He was convicted of three counts of indecent liberties with a child and one count of indecent solicitation of a child.
In 2011 Young appealed the conviction and February 2012 it was overturned. Young claimed evidence regarding his earlier abuse of three step-sons had been wrongfully admitted. The Judge overturned the 2008 verdict because of improperly admitted evidence.
The State Attorney sought a review of the decision with the Kansas Supreme Court. According to Fred Gough with Hutchinson News, Kansas Supreme Court summarily reverse the 2012 ruling and sent the case back to the Court of Appeals. To avoid a new trial, a plea deal was entered December 2014 and Richard Young completed his sentence November 2014.
All of the exchange organizations send their students warning letters/probation letters/agreements that make a case against the exchange students. At times these letters reflect reality and sometimes they illustrate how dangerous it is for company representatives to be good friends of host families.
In this case, there are two letters from AYUSA that demand the exchange student sign. As punishment they take away all electronic devices from the student. At the time the student’s mother had contracted cancer and the student needed to be in contact with her. Yet the student had not been allowed to speak with her for more than a month. AYUSA were aware of the situation. He was living with AYUSA regional representative, Norma Latini. Below is an extract of the communications between CSFES and the US Department of State, along with the warning letters:
The mother of a foreign exchange student from Montenegro is suffering from cancer and contacted this child protection advocacy group for help.
Her son, … has not been allowed to speak with his natural mother for over a month.
October 15, 2008 Probation Letter (see below) issued to her son by student’s placement agency, “Your computer and cell phone use has been terminate indefinitely.
Natural mother reported that her son’s Host Mother, AYUSA Regional Director, Norma Latini, … has confiscated his cell phone.
This family has spent approximately $10,000 for their son to come live his dream; live a year in America. Her son is being returned home early on November 3. …
Oct 15th, 20008
15101 Woodson Street
Overland Park, KS 66223
I recently received reports that (brief description of the behavior). The purpose of this letter is to inform you are officially on probation with AYUSA for the remainder of the year and to clarify with you what we expect of you as an AYUSA student. Failure to make an effort to (refer to the rule violation) could result in your dismissal form the AYUSA program.
It has been reported to me that:
You recently posted 2 exchange students on YouTube making discriminatory and inappropriate comments about each student on the video. You added personal information about the students which could be detrimental to their relationships at school and their personal well being.
You continue to transfer the blame to someone else for all of your personal infractions. ” Fadi has too much drama.” “Norma did not have to tell Mary Lou.”
You say, “it is a joke, just a joke” about serious violations of rules and disrespect you have shown to others.
You have violated Host Family rules and the personal privacy of others.
Because this behavior is considered unacceptable, you will be placed under close supervision by your local AYUSA representative, Tracy Ellenz, who will look for an improvement in your behavior and actions. Probation is a step before dismissal, meaning that AYUSA is giving you a chance to demonstrate a successful program experience.
As an AYUSA student, it is your responsibility to follow program rules and procedures. You were selected for this program because we believe that you have the maturity and capability to deal with the demands of a year in the United States.
xxxx, you must work very hard to prove that you should remain on the AYUSA program. In order to continue to be an AYUSA student you must meet the following requirements:
Your computer and cell phone use has been terminated indefinitely.
You will take responsibility for your own actions and take the consequences.
No more jokes, or what you consider jokes on anyone.
Respect others’ privacy and listen to staff and host family when they tell you that you are being disrespectful to teachers and other. Change your disrespectful behavior to others upon the request.
An addendum may follow after investigation into the YouTube videos by authorities.
AYUSA expects that you will take this probation notice very seriously and will make strides toward changing your attitude and behavior and completing a successful year in the U.S. We anticipate that you will act, for the remainder of your stay, in a manner befitting an AYUSA student and a junior ambassador of Montenegro. After reading this letter, please sign the copy enclosed and mail it back to me at the following address by October 20th, 2008.
Mary Lou Dunekacke
491 32nd Rd
Rising City, NE 68658
I have read and understood this Probation Letter
(Student’s Name) (Date)
Mary Lou Dunekacke (Regional Manager)
Jenna DeFabio (HQ)
Tracy Ellenz (CR)
Norma Latini (RD)
M( 17 ) 9* AICEE-SM 348772
I recently received reports from AYUSA staff regarding the following
- You have told others that you have lost 22 pounds in the USA.
- You have told others that you were made to go to church.
- You have demanded the food of your native country, not eating the food of your host family. In the meantime, you have ordered delivery pizza and chocolate dunkers on at least 10 occasions after the host family’s meal.
- You act distant to relatives and friends of the host family when visiting, even though you were explained this and your host mom has a code word for you. You said you do not think you are disrespectful.
- You have refused to wash your clothes and wear clean clothing.
- You spend hours on your Playstation, then ask for help with your homework late at night.
- You are talking to your natural mom frequently on your international cell phone and reporting to staff that she has contradicting reports about your issues.
Consequently, the purpose of this letter is to inform you that you are officially on warning with AYUSA and to clarify with you what we expect of you as an AYUSA student. Failure to make an effort to change your behavior/attitude will result in being placed on probation with the AYUSA program.
As an AYUSA student, it is your responsibility to follow program rules and procedures as part of having a successful year abroad. I realize that adjusting to a new situation can be challenging. The following are suggestions on what you can do to show that you are serious about having a successful experience on the AYUSA program:
- You will follow any and all rules of your host family
- You will give accurate accounts to others.
- You will read the in your student booklet pages 2-25.
- You will report to your representative, Tracy Ellenz as to what you have read.
- You will discontinue ordering from pizza delivery and try to adjust to American food and the special cooking of your host family.
- Your host mom has a code word for you when you are acting disrespectful, she will use it and you will stop your behavior. You will act respectful to teachers and others.
- You will wash your clothes and wear clean clothing at all times.
- You will limit your time on Playstation until all your homework is finished, the time limits will be set as needed by your host mom.
- Limit calls from home to once every two weeks.
Your local AYUSA representative, Tracy Ellenz, is here to support you and will closely supervise you over the next 4 weeks. She will observe your attitude and effort weekly in making the suggested changes listed above. On October 2, 2008 Tracy will talk with you to check on your progress. If, at this time, reports indicate that you have not made any changes or your behavior has worsened, you will be placed on probation.
xxxx you were selected for this program because we believe that you have the maturity and capability to deal with the demands of a year in the United States. AYUSA expects that you will take this warning letter very seriously and will make strides toward changing your attitude and behavior and completing a successful year in the U.S. We anticipate that you will act, for the remainder of your stay, in a manner befitting an AYUSA student and a junior ambassador of Montenegro. After reading this letter, please sign the copy enclosed and mail it back to Mary Lou Dunekacke at the following address by September 14, 2008.
Mary Lou Dunekacke
AYUSA Regional Manager
491 32nd Rd.
Rising City,NE 68658
I have read and understand this Warning Letter.
(Student Name) (Date)
Dear Ms. Melofchik, Ms. Dickerson, Ms. Findlay, Ms. Martin and Ms. Lawrence:
Please be advised that ASSE International participant Ravee Suksawat remains in Tennessee without a permanent host family; and remains without a high school to attend.
Mr. and Mrs. Wilburn of Knoxville, Tennessee have hosted Ravee Suksawat for the ESL program and have grown very fond of him.
ASSE International provided Mrs. Wilburn the contact information for Ravee’s next host family for the academic year; a Larry and Janifer Bell of Penokee, Kansas.
On Sept. 1, 2007, Mrs. Wilburn telephoned Mrs. Bell to introduce herself and confirm that Ravee would be on a flight from Tennessee to Kansas departing at 5:44 am the following morning.
Mrs. Bell responded to Mrs. Wilburn that she didn’t know that she and her husband had been accepted, assigned a student to host – or anything. This concerned Mrs. Wilburn who contacted her local ASSE coordinator Ms. Amber Wallen. Ms. Wallen suggested that Mrs. Wilburn of Tennessee telephone CSFES.
Mrs. Wilburn decided against Ravee boarding the flight to Kansas the following morning.
I would like to provide you with the following contact information:
Mrs. Theresa Wilburn: 865-922-1858 Tennessee
Mrs. Janifer Bell: 785-421-4118 Kansas
Mrs. Wilburn spoke with Laura Johnson of ASSE International of California. Mrs. Johnson’s focus was how long ASSE has been in business. Mrs. Johnson’s focus was how “very reputable” ASSE is” and finally, Mrs. Johnson’s response to Mrs. Wilburn was, “I don’t know why Mrs. Bell said that.”
Kansas’ ASSE area representative, Mr. Ron Fontenot can be reached at 785-737-4951. It is Mr. Fontenot whose name is listed at Ravee’s ASSE area representative on the ASSE Host Family Placement Form.
When I spoke with Mr. Fontenot; his response was that ASSE’s Valerie Kampfer (785) 266-2715 tells him that ‘this is the way it is supposed to be done.’
While these ASSE representatives appear to focus the blame on the neighboring ASSE representative, the fact remains that Ravee continues to live in Tennessee without a permanent host family or secured high school to attend.
Ravee has contacted his mother in Thailand. She paid $300 for Ravee to fly to Kansas and also concerned.
Thank you for your immediate attention that this matter deserves.
Danielle Grijalva, Director
Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students
P.O. Box 6496 / Oceanside, CA 92052
www.csfes.org / 866-471-9203