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Is WV Part of A National Pedophile Network Exploiting Foreign Exchange Students?
Special Contribution
By Jack Swint & Sam Webber
A classroom in the United States

PART ONE of our two part story takes you first inside of a multi million dollar industry known on the surface as the National Foreign Exchange Student Program.

The original concept and intent is easy; it's a program that became popular after WWII in which a student, typically in secondary or higher education, chooses to live in a foreign country to learn, among other things, the language and culture. America sponsors approximately 30,000 a year.

Below the surface, a dark side has evolved that has allowed pedophiles, rapists and common thieves to infiltrate this program and use it as a black market sex slave network that preys on children that we invited into our country.

What's most alarming is that you can actually go online and order up the student of your choice. View their picture, read their bio and then pick that child to be delivered to your doorstep. (link below) It's like the old Burger King commercial where you can have it "your way." Some predators who have been arrested and convicted of sex crimes against exchange students admit they pre-picked their teen because they wanted to have sex with that specific one.

Example: Convicted predators like Frank Swiderski (OH), Peter Ruzzo (CA), and Richard Young (KS), have, in one form or another admitted the desire to have sex with their exchange student simply upon seeing their photo. Ruzzo even considered it a challenge. He accomplished it too.

In West Virginia, the exchange program has also fallen prey to students being groomed for sex and violence by a criminal element that has cloaked itself in the form of sponsors, supervisors and host parents. In our state alone, a pedophile network exists that includes pedophiles in at least Kanawha, Cabell, McDowell and Fayette Counties.

Do officials at the board of education know of this problem within the exchange program?? Yes, sources tell us numerous complaints are on file and sealed within the WV State Board of Education that date back years. At least one former teacher-principal had to resign because of his pedophile-rapist acts that the board concealed to head off a scandal. Thomas Scott King was moved around from county to county school systems until they had to finally force his resignation.

He still is a host parent and sponsor today. But, over the years he has become involved in a network of pedophiles operating not only in WV, but across the country and abroad. According to records we obtained, West Virginia hosted approximately 180 exchange students in 2008. Thomas Scott King had at least 3 of those kids living in his home.

This is not a problem of just a few bad apples ruining the student exchange program. It has become the new nation wide port of entry for pedophiles to prey on kids.

On The National Level

To most of us we think of the Foreign Exchange Student Program as a chance for teens to come to America and attend our schools and live with host families in the country most foreigners consider the land of freedom and great opportunities. At least that is what the pamphlets, brochures and websites from the business that operate these programs detail.

What they don't admit or advertise is that, just in the US alone, this is a multi million dollar industry that generates from $9,000 to $22,000 per student per year. They also hide the fact that some really bad people are intentionally destroying a really good program that was once held beyond reproach.

It's not just about sex. Some host families and sponsors have been convicted of crimes from petty theft to extortion. Several documented cases show that students were placed in the homes of parolee's with criminal convictions for aggravated assault/robbery and accusations of rape. A retired parole officer in Eugene, Oregon confirmed during a 3-year period supervising sex offenders of five instances of them gaining access to new child victims by becoming hosts to foreign students.

The retired officer, stated in a report….. "I learned of 5 instances of sex offenders, in this county, gaining access to new child victims by becoming hosts of foreign students. One was convicted of molesting a 16 year-old Japanese girl. Another convicted sex offender hosted a 17 year-old Japanese boy, but the boy returned home before he could be questioned to determine if he was abused. Another convicted rapist hosted a 18 year-old Japanese girl; she stayed in his home only a few days before the situation became known to authorities and girl was removed, but not before the rapist began touching her inappropriately (grooming behavior, a prelude to raping her.) A year later, this same rapist was accepted by a host organization to host a 16 year-old Thai girl."

Some students arrive in the US with no hosts; no schools and they are placed in trailer parks and motels or live (contrary to regulations) with coordinators. They are paraded around shopping centers looking for potential hosts.

So, what government entity oversees the entire program?? The U.S. State Department, who in turn rely on the same organizations that are making millions of dollars each year. When faced with a serious complaint, the government agencies stance has routinely been that it is a "contractual dispute" with the student's family and youth exchange organization.

Who tries to oversee all of this' Watchdog associations and concerned citizens like Danielle Grijalva, founder of the organization, "Committee of Safety for Foreign Exchange Students." Danielle says the problem is just too big. And, it appears on the surface that one reason no one really wants to address it because so much money is being made in this growing industry. Her efforts have paid off; their organization is now comprised of over 1,500 CSFES volunteers from across the globe. Even their press releases are now translated and appear in over 35 newspapers internationally.

Before becoming an advocate for the abused, Danielle was first an area representative for the Center for Cultural Interchange, a foreign exchange student program based in St. Charles, Ill. She helped find host families for students studying in the U.S., securing high school placement for them as well as advising them on local culture and customs. She is now the watchdog of those people who prey on those innocent students we have invited to our country like the spider to the fly.

Then on Sept. 20, 2004, she learned about what she calls "the dark side" of the foreign exchange program. A 16-year-old exchange student from France sat in her living room and told her that within a month of his arrival his host father photographed him when he was sleeping, showed him online pornography and offered him alcohol. Grijalva instincts as a mother took over and she looked for help from everyone she could think of: local police, employers, school administrators. The more she researched, the more she learned that abuse at the hands of host families or individuals, across the world, was a silent problem.

More than 30,000 students arrive in the U.S. each year through foreign-exchange programs. Grijalva believes abuse can go unreported due to language barriers, cultural differences and student fears that visas may be taken away. Some students have been told if they make a complaint, they will be deported in less then 72 hours. And, they will be sent home in shame.

"I began to ask questions," she said." ... These were invisible victims."

In 2006, Danielle began obtaining complaints. Right away she documented 54 cases of sexual abuse and even extortion. The state department had only reported 5 cases of sexual abuse for that time period. After her inquiries for copies of those complaints, the state department reluctantly added 20 additional cases of alleged abuse.

The state department claims they have invoked stronger policies in placing students with host families and or sponsors such as a criminal background check. But, as statistics show, most pedophiles and predators have never been convicted of a crime. Some are the pillars of the community concealing their deep dark secrets. Sources we spoke to say some background checks had only consisted of providing 3 references.

Complaints from students being raped, sodomized, beaten and robbed are rampant across the United States and have begun escalating over the past 6 years. Stories have echoed back from parents of the children after returning to their homeland questioning if this type of behavior is common in our society.

If a student or parent's complaint makes it up the ladder to overseeing agencies like AYUSA International, a standard response comes in the form of a "warning letter" to deter any further problems. Reading between the lines, one may decipher this letter as a "shut up," or you will be dealt with accordingly. Up to and including deportation."

We obtained one such warning letter that states to a student complaining of abuse ... "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." That letter goes on to say," ... 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.

In the end, the student was sent home early after posting complaints online of the abuse. To add insult to injury, when a student is returned home early, these companies refuse to refund the parents money.

State & Federal lawsuits against companies s like ASSE, AISE & AYUSA have exposed the reported ongoing problems of abuse and how these companies fail to follow federal statutes that are in place to protect such acts from occurring. But, these types of legal actions can take years to make it into the judicial system. By then, the damage is done, and the student has returned back to their country and is trying to deal with the trauma and disgrace we subjected them to. Reports confirm some teens become suicidal; self mutilate themselves, withdrawal from society and even horde food which demonstrates possible starvation tactics had been used on them to submit to their abuser.

More and more arrests and convictions are occurring. In 90% of the cases, the victim knew their assailants. Sadly enough, statistics show that the majority of offenders are the teachers & other school officials who these kids placed all of their trust in!!!

Exchange Students In WV

In November of 2008 we published an expose on former WV teacher & principal Thomas Scott King. His brother, Casey, came forward with overwhelming and shocking information how his older brother had raped and molested him from the age of 7 years old. Last year, Casey went to the WV state police with his complaint. Casey King's motivation?? To finally face those demons of what his now 60 year old brother had done to him. And, more so, to stop this man who reportedly continues to prey on young teens for his deviant sexual gratification today.

Unfortunately, the WV trooper investigating that complaint retired. To date, no one has resumed the investigation. We have been advised that the new WV Police Commander, Colonel Pack, has spoken to State Police Captain Schoolcraft on or about Tuesday February 10, 2009, and that Schoolcraft and Pack have discussed the filed complaint on Thomas Scott King.

Scott King was considered a hero among students. According to one source, who at the time attended Welch Jr. High, "He was the cool teacher who always bought us booze and took us to WVU ballgames and many school trips." He went on to say that all of these boys were 13 to 15 at the time and that "we didn't know what a pedophile was."

Since that November story, we have continued to investigate and gather information on the fact that, even though Scott King had to resign his teaching credentials years ago for alleged sex abuse, he has remained a member in great standing with the national and local levels of the Foreign Exchange Student Program. He is not just a host dad and sponsor any longer, King is now also a part of a state wide network of pedophiles, some who are prominent and well respected in the community.

He has climbed the ladder in this multi-million dollar profit industry and joined the ranks of hosts and sponsors that are better known as a "high placer." Danielle Grijalva explained to us the open door possibilities and perks of being a "high placer." Especially, if the host and sponsor has criminal intent.

"There are many volunteers, local coordinators, regional coordinators, directors, etc., within the student exchange community. All are usually responsible for locating and securing host families and high schools for an exchange student.

For those volunteers, coordinators, directors, etc., who go 'above and beyond' by placing thirty, forty or fifty (plus) exchange students, they are nicknamed and referred to in this community as a "high placer." When you consider that the natural parents of these prospective exchange students will spend approx. $8,000 to $22,000 to study abroad as a J1 participant, a "high placer" becomes very lucrative to the agency they work/volunteer for. Many student exchange agencies are very protective of their "high placers" and stand behind most every move they make."

According to official records, King has hosted as a parent, supervised or sponsored children from the following countries. Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Czech Republic, Holland, Hungry, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey & Yugoslavia.

Next Friday…. Hear from Scott King s victims and learn the names and whereabouts to some of his pedophile network of friends. Learn what his former school faculty members thought of him.

Read how one student allegedly recalls waking up naked in a bedroom located in Scott Kings home while the man was reportedly standing over him taking pictures…

End Of Part One ...

Jack Swint & Sam Webber
PO Box 40511
Charleston, WV 25364

Anyone who has questions or information concerning abuse within the Foreign Exchange Student Program is asked to e-mail or call : ... Danielle Grijalva ... ... (760) 295-0716






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