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March 10, 2014

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Ex English teacher in Shanghai gets 30 years for child sex abuse

AN American man who worked as an English teacher in Shanghai was last week sentenced to 30 years in prison in the United States for sexually abusing children.

Hector Orjuela Jr, 47, pleaded guilty on October 3, 2013, before a US district court in the District of Columbia to two counts of engaging in and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place, and one count of producing child pornography.

Orjuela traveled to Shanghai in August 2012, where he molested one girl and attempted to molest another, both of whom were under 12. The court heard that in July 2012, he abused a girl under the age of 12 in Maryland, US, and produced pornography of it. Orjuela traveled back to the US in early November 2012 and returned to China later that month, where he continued to molest the same two girls.

The US justice department did not say at which school Orjuela had worked in Shanghai, but the Southern China Morning Post said the California native had taught at several international schools in the city. It also said the two victims were 5-year-old twins, whose expatriate mother reported the abuse to the police.

Chinese and US authorities cooperated on the case and Orjuela was silently extradited to the US to stand trial. On completion of his prison term, he will serve a lifetime of supervised release, the US court said.

The Orjuela case is not the first involving a foreign national abusing children in Shanghai.

Last June, Shanghai police arrested 32-year-old US teacher David McMahon after he was accused of molesting six of his students, four girls and two boys aged 6 to 10. The children, five French and one Italian, were all students at Lycee Francais de Shanghai, where McMahon had worked for five years.

The children said McMahon took them to the school library or other quiet place on the pretext of discussing their homework. Once there, he forced them to strip and molested them.

Police have yet to release details of their investigation into McMahon, but the school said in an e-mail after his arrest that a colleague of his had been “extradited by Chinese authorities to the US in December 2012 following an investigation into sexual touching and violence against minors.”


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