Hundreds contact FBI about pedophile teacher case

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Hundreds contact FBI about pedophile teacher case
FILE - This combination of photos provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows William James Vahey in 1986, 1995, 2004 and 2013. Vahey, 64, killed himself in Luverne, Minn. on March 21, 2014. The discovery of Vahey, a man the FBI regards as one of the most prolific pedophiles in memory has set off a crisis in the community of international schools, where parents are being told that their children may have been victims, and administrators are scurrying to close loopholes exposed by Vahey’s abuses. (AP Photo/FBI, File)
This Thursday, May 9, 2014 photo shows the American Community School in northern Athens, Greece where William Vahey taught. When a maid stole a memory drive from him in November, on it was evidence that Vahey molested scores of adolescent boys, possibly more. The discovery of a man the FBI regards as one of the most prolific pedophiles in memory has set off a crisis in the community of international schools, where parents are being told that their children may have been victims, and administrators are scurrying to close loopholes exposed by Vahey’s abuses. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
In this Thursday, May 8, 2014 photo, a security guard stands at the entrance of Jakarta International School (JIS) compound in Jakarta, Indonesia. U.S. citizen William Vahey taught here from 1992-2002. Vahey began his international teaching career with a series of stays around the Middle East and Europe, and by 1992, Vahey and his wife moved to Indonesia. He was one of the most beloved teachers in the world of international schools that serve the children of diplomats, well-off Americans and local elites. That was the public persona of William Vahey until a maid stole a memory drive from him in November. On it was evidence that Vahey molested scores of adolescent boys, possibly more. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)
In this Thursday, May 8, 2014 photo, a security guard stands at the entrance of Jakarta International School (JIS) compound in Jakarta, Indonesia. U.S. citizen William Vahey taught here from 1992-2002. Vahey began his international teaching career with a series of stays around the Middle East and Europe, and by 1992, Vahey and his wife moved to Indonesia. He was one of the most beloved teachers in the world of international schools that serve the children of diplomats, well-off Americans and local elites. That was the public persona of William Vahey until a maid stole a memory drive from him in November. On it was evidence that Vahey molested scores of adolescent boys, possibly more. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)
In this Wednesday, May 7, 2014 photo, a vehicle drives by the main entrance gate of the American Nicaraguan School in Managua, Nicaragua. U.S. citizen William James Vahey, 64, worked as teacher here from 2013-2014. He was one of the most beloved teachers in the world of international schools that serve the children of diplomats, well-off Americans and local elites. The FBI regards Vahey as one of the most prolific pedophiles in memory has set off a crisis in the community of international schools, where parents are being told that their children may have been victims, and administrators are scurrying to close loopholes exposed by Vahey’s abuses. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
In this Wednesday, May 7, 2014 photo, a security guard mans his post at the entrance of the American Nicaraguan School in Managua, Nicaragua where U.S. citizen William James Vahey worked as teacher. Vahey killed himself on March 21, two days after agents in Houston filed for a warrant to search a computer thumb drive that belonged to Vahey. The storage device contained pornographic images of at least 90 boys, ages 12 to 14, who appeared to be drugged and unconscious, according to the FBI. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
In this Wednesday, May 7, 2014 photo, a security guard is reflected in a car mirror in front of the house where U.S. citizen William James Vahey lived, near the American Nicaraguan School in Managua, Nicaragua where he worked as teacher from 2013-2014. Vahey, 64, killed himself on March 21, 2014 - two days after agents in Houston filed for a warrant to search a computer thumb drive that belonged to him. The storage device contained pornographic images of at least 90 boys, ages 12 to 14, who appeared to be drugged and unconscious, according to the FBI. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
A security guard stands front of the house where U.S. citizen William James Vahey, 64, lived, near the American Nicaraguan School, where worked as teacher, in Managua, Nicaragua, Wednesday, May 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
FILE - This Thursday, April 24, 2014, file photo, shows the entrance to the Southbank International School in central London where suspected child molester William James Vahey was a teacher from 2009-2013. Vahey went to work at the Westminster campus of London’s Southbank International School, with about 350 pupils from 70 countries. The FBI regards Vahey as one of the most prolific pedophiles in memory and has set off a crisis in the community of international schools, where parents are being told that their children may have been victims, and administrators are scurrying to close loopholes exposed by Vahey’s abuses. (AP Photo/Sang Tan, File)
This combination of photos provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows William James Vahey in 1995, left, and 1986. The FBI is asking for help to identify at least 90 victims of Vahey's, a suspected serial child predator who worked in American schools worldwide for four decades. Vahey, 64, killed himself in Luverne, Minn., on March 21. (AP Photo/FBI)
This combination of photos provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows William James Vahey in 2013, left, and 2004. The FBI is asking for help to identify at least 90 victims of Vahey's, a suspected serial child predator who worked in American schools worldwide for four decades. Vahey, 64, killed himself in Luverne, Minn., on March 21. (AP Photo/FBI)
An outside view of the Southbank International School in central London where suspected child molester William James Vahey taught for a four-year term, Thursday, April 24, 2014. British police is helping with a FBI global investigation to identify and trace victims of a suspected pedophile teacher, William James Vahey, who killed himself in March in Luverne Minnesota. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 24: The exterior of The Southbank International School on Portland Place where, it has been confirmed today, William James Vahey, a prolific US paedophile, abused pupils during his time working at the school, on April 24, 2014 in London, England. An FBI led investigation has found that William James Vahey, who killed himself in March 2014 and taught at the elite private school between 2009 and 2013, had a memory stick containing sexual images of children dating back to 2008. (Photo by Mary Turner/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 24: The exterior of The Southbank International School on Portland Place where, it has been confirmed today, William James Vahey, a prolific US paedophile, abused pupils during his time working at the school, on April 24, 2014 in London, England. An FBI led investigation has found that William James Vahey, who killed himself in March 2014 and taught at the elite private school between 2009 and 2013, had a memory stick containing sexual images of children dating back to 2008. (Photo by Mary Turner/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 24: The exterior of The Southbank International School on Portland Place where, it has been confirmed today, William James Vahey, a prolific US paedophile, abused pupils during his time working at the school, on April 24, 2014 in London, England. An FBI led investigation has found that William James Vahey, who killed himself in March 2014 and taught at the elite private school between 2009 and 2013, had a memory stick containing sexual images of children dating back to 2008. (Photo by Mary Turner/Getty Images)
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The number of possible victims of a teacher suspected of drugging and molesting boys during a four-decade career at nearly a dozen schools around the world has risen sharply, with the FBI saying hundreds of people have contacted it about the case.

Calling William Vahey one of the most prolific pedophiles in memory, the FBI had said that the teacher molested at least 90 boys whose photos were found on a memory drive stolen by his maid in Nicaragua.

But that figure appeared low after Special Agent Shauna Dunlap said Tuesday that the bureau has now "been contacted by several hundred individuals from around the globe wishing either to reach out as potential victims or provide information in the ongoing investigation."

Dunlap said officials wanted as many people as possible to call or contact the FBI through its website in order to receive counseling and provide information about Vahey, who killed himself at age 64 after the evidence of molestation emerged.

Vahey taught at 10 schools on four continents and was one of the most beloved teachers in the world of international schools that serve the children of diplomats, well-off Americans and local elites. His case has rattled the community of international schools, where parents are being told their children may have been victims, and administrators are scurrying to close loopholes exposed by Vahey's abuses.

Apparently, not even Vahey's victims knew they had been molested. The double-cream Oreos that he handed out at bedtime on school trips were laced with sleeping pills - enough to leave the boys unconscious as he touched them and posed them for nude photographs.

Although Vahey, then 20, pleaded guilty in 1969 to a single charge of lewd and lascivious behavior, after admitting to pinching the penises of eight young boys at a California high school where he taught swimming, it didn't keep him from embarking on a series of teaching jobs that put him in close contact with children.

He began his international teaching career at the American School in Tehran, the first in a series of stays around the Middle East, Europe and Asia. He taught history, social studies and related subjects in Lebanon, Spain, Iran, Greece, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, almost always to middle school students. He also coached basketball and led school trips.

Authorities may have missed a warning sign during a later teaching stint in Venezuela: Two students under Vahey's care were rushed to a hospital after falling unconscious in their hotel room on a trip, parents and staff said. Officials were unable to determine why and chalked it up to a possible failing air conditioner.

Seven years later, Vahey and his wife went to work at the Westminster campus of London's Southbank International School, with about 350 pupils from 70 countries. Police say at least 60 of the 90 or so children in the images on the USB drive stolen by the maid were from that school.

Southbank's chair of governors, Chris Woodhead, told Britain's Press Association there had been one complaint against Vahey, but, "The boy's parents agreed that there was nothing untoward and the matter shouldn't be pursued."

In early March, the maid who stole the memory drive handed it to American Nicaraguan school director Gloria Doll, who found it contained photos of unconscious boys, many between ages 12 and 14, often being touched by Vahey.

Doll confronted Vahey, who told her, according to an FBI affidavit, that he had given the boys sleeping pills, adding: "I was molested as a boy, that is why I do this. I have been doing this my whole life."

Doll demanded Vahey's resignation, according to the affidavit, and notified authorities at the U.S. Embassy the next day, U.S. officials said. Embassy officials immediately notified Nicaraguan police, but Vahey had already flown out of the country.

He traveled to Luverne, Minnesota, where relatives live. He checked into a hotel and stabbed himself in the chest with a knife, leaving a note apologizing to his family.
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