Tag Archives: #TexasUSA

2009 May: Licata Accused of Fondling Exchange Student

Tony Licata, a two-term councilman, resigned last week after his arrest on suspicion of unlawful restraint.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 • Updated at 5:45 PM CST

A two-term Colleyville City Council member and longtime youth coach has been accused of pinning down and fondling a foreign exchange student living at his home.

Tony Licata, 57, resigned his seat the same day he was arrested last week. He was booked on suspicion of unlawful restraint, posted $2,500 bail and was released later on Thursday, according to Tarrant County Jail.

Alan Levy, a Tarrant County prosecutor, said the charge against Licata may change after the case is presented to a grand jury.

Licata’s attorney Stephanie Luce said he is “a good and decent man” but said she would not comment further until her office investigates the allegations, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

American Field Service, which arranged for Licata to host the girl, received an emergency report about an incident one night in November and moved her from Licata’s upscale home in the Fort Worth suburb. But the agency did not contact police.

Authorities were alerted in April by the girl’s therapist, according to the arrest warrant affidavit obtained by the newspaper.

Marlene Baker, AFS-USA spokeswoman, said she could not discuss specifics of the case but that students’ safety and security is the organization’s first priority. Based on information at the time, “we followed protocol … (that) included moving the student, notifying the student’s parents, notifying the (U.S.) State Department and offering counseling to the student,” Baker said.

On that November night, Licata called the girl into his bedroom to show her a cell phone, and they sat on the bed reading the instruction book. But when she started to get up, Licata grabbed her and began touching her inappropriately, according to the affidavit.

The girl struggled and Licata threw her on the bed, allegedly pinning her and kissing her neck and shoulders. She broke free, crying, and Licata apologized before letting her leave, according to the document.

The girl went to the home of a friend, who called AFS. The agency moved her to another city on an emergency placement, and later moved her to another host family.

After she told her therapist, the girl and her friend who translated for her met at a high school with an investigator for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office. The girl said she would call Licata’s cell phone while the conversation was recorded.

According to the affidavit, during that phone call Licata apologized about the incident several times and said he had told his wife and a counselor. He also said that AFS had told him not to contact her but that he was concerned about her and “wanted to visit with her further and would talk to his wife to see how that would best be accomplished,” according to the document.

Licata, who runs a management consulting firm, was elected to the City Council in 2005 and re-elected to a three-year term in 2007. He was a youth sports coach from 1987-99, heading soccer, baseball and wrestling teams. He is also a community volunteer.

Colleyville Councilman Mike Taylor said Licata had asked that his resignation be kept quiet until he was ready to announce it. Taylor said he had not heard of the allegations against Licata, who had cited personal reasons for stepping down.

“Mr. Licata was an excellent council member, and we’re going to miss him,” Taylor said. “He did a very good job for the citizens.”
Copyright Associated Press

2009 Oct 21: USA: Former Councilman Gets Probation

Tony Licata who was arrested for “pinning down and fondling a foreign exchange student living at his home”  (unlawful restraint) was sentenced (see article below). The article on WFAA.com has been removed.

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Licata Plea Bargains for sentence of 24 months probation and a $386 fine.

October 21, 2009 Colleyville, Texas

Tony Licata former Place 2 Colleyville City Councilman was sentenced yesterday to 24 months probation for unlawfully restraining a teenage foreign ex-change student at his home last year.  Licata was instructed to continue private counseling.  If Licata completes his probation term his conviction will be set aside.

The original arrests warrants the victim’s therapist had first reported the incident to police.  The student was 17 when the incident took place at the Licata home.

The official rendition of the event had Licata having brief contact with the victim in the bedroom when Licata threw her on the bed after “hugging her and fondling her breast.”

He kissed here on the neck and shoulders then apologized for his actions and let the girl leave.

The DA’s office arranged for the victim to call Licata’s cell telephone while being recorded. On the call Licata said he had been instructed not to call her but he was concerned about her welfare and would visit with his wife to determine how best to look after the girl.

Reportedly the foreign exchange officials responsible for the program notified the U.S. State Department and Licata was removed as a volunteer and barred from hosting future students.

Nelson Thibodeaux, Editor
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2009 May: Colleyville Councilman Accused of Fondling Exchange Student
2009 Oct 20: Ex-Colleyville councilman sentenced for unlawful restraint

2008: Exchange student placed with unqualified host-family

The following is an excerpt from e-mails regarding DM Discoveries’ (now ISE) terrible placement of a Chinese exchange student. Her host-parents were hearing impaired. That led to her having to take care of crying children, both after school and at night. A headache started because of the high noise level from voices and television. Excrement from the children could be found in washing machine, on the floor of the bathroom and the air reeked of urine. The case came to CSFES’ attention September 2008, 3 weeks after the student’s arrival.


Dear Sir,

…. Second of all, I really like going to Sulphur Spring High and I like the classmates and teachers.

March, this year, I knew that I was assigned to TX and I was aware that the host parents have problem with the hearing and the two girls are cute from the photos. …

However, it is not what we (my family and I) thought after I live with them for about 3 weeks.

Followings are the issues I am having now:

  1. before school starts, I had stayed at home for two weeks and during the time, I only visited church twice.  Other than that, no more activities with the host family inside the house, not even mention about going outside.  I realized that no family activities taken in this family.
  2. two little girls, one is 3 and one is 4, I was awaken by their crying most of the time.  The kids were crying outside their parents door but their parents could not hear them for some reason.  Finally, it was me who opened the door and made them calm down.  Sometimes I cried with them together for helpless. It was not me to make them stop crying, it is because the kids were too tired to cry.
  3. after school starts, I am so happy and think I should be busy with school stuff and forget about the headache I am having with the family.  But the reality is, I have to face an environment which is full of mix sound of video game, TV and kids crying whenever they like to.  Host father was shouting at kids because of the hearing problem.  I can not image what I will be in the following 9 months if I were going to live with them.  Will I become a shouter, have bad temper or someone I can not accept totally?
  4. the host family is not organized, the air is full of urine smell and its mark on some places, kids droppings in the restroom sometimes and droppings found in washer and dryer sometimes. When I want to wash or dry my clothing, I have to clean the machine before I do it.

… As a high school student, my purpose is very simply here. To study with local youngster and have good interaction with host family.

… Please help me because no one does but you.

Sincerely,
Karen Chiu

2008 September 11

Ms. Grijalva-

Karen Chiu is in my office this morning …..  Becky Sanderson has told her that she must make a decision this weekend about where she is going to live ….. either in Emory or stay here with her current host family.  Becky has also told the home office that Karen’s sister is very unhappy with her host family in Indiana-and that is not true.  Karen’s sister is very happy with her situation.  Karen’s mom believes that Becky is trying to convince the home office that these two girls are just trying to stir up trouble and that they are “bad” kids.

… Karen is depressed and confused about this whole matter.

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The entire exchange can be found HERE