US paedophile taught in Malaysian varsities

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 23 Feb 2017

PETALING JAYA: An American performing arts lecturer who had apparently taught at a few universities in Malaysia has been exposed as a sexual predator by a US school he worked at more than 30 years ago.

According to his LinkedIn profile, the lecturer is now based in Thailand, and attempts to contact him have been unsuccessful.

The lecturer, who taught at the prestigious Milton Academy in Boston from 1973 to 1987, was found to have engaged in sexual misconduct with students during his time there. This came to light following a recently concluded investigation commissioned by the academy.

In a letter sent out to the Milton community on Tuesday, school officials said that a nine-month investigation by a New York security firm it hired yielded the shocking findings – the lecturer sexually abused at least 12 male students, all minors at the time.

Three other former employees, who were not named in the letter, were also found to have engaged in similar misconduct.

The lecturer was sacked in 1987 after admitting to molesting a student, but the extent of his crimes is only coming to light now following the investigation. The probe was launched following a 2016 news report on sexual misconduct in US private schools.

The report prompted a fact-finding mission on whether any transgressions had occurred in the past.

They hired T&M Protection Resources, a private consulting firm, to conduct the investigation that began in May 2016.

The firm discovered that the school’s management at the time had allowed the lecturer to continue working despite being aware of his misconduct.

The letter mentioned that then headmaster of Milton Academy Jerome A. Pieh, “had some knowledge” of his misconduct in 1982, “but allowed him to continue working there for five more years before he was sacked in 1987”.

Since then, he has worked in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia and is well-known in the theatre and performing arts scene.

According to his LinkedIn profile, he has worked as a theatre director, acting coach and performing arts educator for nearly 30 years in South-East Asia.

Milton Academy’s board of trustees on Tuesday expressed “deep regret” for not protecting its students all those years ago, and failing to investigate him at the time.

“On behalf of Milton Academy and its board of trustees, we want to acknowledge and deeply apologise for those failures,” said the current head of school Todd Bland, and board of trustees president Lisa Donohue.

The academy also said that it has contacted Immigration authorities about the findings of its investigation as well as the employers he worked for after leaving the school. These, apparently, number about 18 schools and theatre organisations.

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