Report: Foreign Exchange Programs Let Sex Abuse Go Unchecked

An investigation by NBC News has uncovered dozens of cases in which foreign exchange students were allegedly raped, sexually abused or harassed by their American host families. The students were placed with these families by organizations that were “designated sponsor organizations” approved by the State Department.

In one case, at least four students were sexually abused by the same host father for over two years, even though the first victim spoke out about the abuse, MSNBC reports. The organization that placed the students with the family has been accused of orchestrating a cover-up.

Belgian student Guillaume Le Mayeur was expelled from his Educational Resource Development Trust (ERDT) study abroad program after his host father, Doyle Meyer, said he had driven a car (which is against the program’s rules) and smoked marijuana. Le Mayeur had tried to tell an ERDT coordinator that Meyer had sexually abused him.

Later, Le Mayeur contacted ERDT again to alert them to the abuse; instead of contacting police, staff with no experience launched their own investigation.

Read the full story.

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