The suspect, William James Vahey, 64, worked at the schools since
1972 and committed suicide on March 21 in Luverne, Minnesota, the
Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Tuesday.
He killed himself two days after agents in Houston sought a warrant
to search a computer thumb drive belonging to him, the FBI said in a
The drive was given to the FBI by an employee of the American
Nicaraguan School, in Managua, Nicaragua, where Vahey worked as a
teacher of history and geography, the FBI said.
A school employee filed a complaint with the FBI saying the USB
drive "contained pornographic images of minor males who appeared to
be asleep or unconscious," it said. The complaint said the youths
seemed to be about 12 to 14 years old.
When the employee confronted Vahey, he admitted he had molested boys
his whole life and "reportedly admitted giving the minors sleeping
pills prior to the molestation," the FBI said.
The school fired Vahey in March. FBI agents have reviewed
photographs dating back to 2008 that depict at least 90 alleged
victims, it said.
The FBI said Vahey had worked at American international schools in
at least nine different countries — Nicaragua, the United Kingdom,
Venezuela, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Iran, Spain and Lebanon.
"While the review is ongoing, the FBI is seeking to notify
individuals of the existence of the investigation and encourage
additional potential victims to come forward," the agency said.
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At the time of his suicide, Vahey was married with two adult
children. He had homes in London and on Hilton Head Island, South
In 1969, Vahey pleaded guilty in California to a child molestation
charge and was sentenced to jail and probation. The conviction
required him to register with California's sex offender registry for
the rest of his life, but he had not done so since 1970.
(Reporting by Ian Simpson; editing by Clarence Fernandez)
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