Police say Rockville teacher accused of sexually abusing autistic student fled country -- Gazette.Net


This story was updated at 5:15 p.m. on Dec. 3, 2013.

A woman who taught at a Rockville school for students with special needs abused one of her students, then fled the country when authorities began investigating, police said Tuesday.

According to a Montgomery County police statement, Yee Tak Sharon Kui, 25, of Pasture Side Place, Rockville, taught at The Frost School on Aspen Hill Road.

The school serves children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and related special needs, according to its website.

Public records did not list Kui’s specific address on Pasture Side Place.

Twice in November, Kui went to the home of one of her students, a 15-year-old boy, and engaged in “illegal sexual contact” with him while his parents were away, police said.

According to a warrant police obtained for her arrest, Kui and the boy began texting one another.

The first alleged act of abuse took place on Nov. 3, and included kissing and fondling, according to the warrant.

Days later, Kui texted the boy and asked if he would have sex with her. On Nov. 10, she went to his house while his parents were away and the two had sex, according to the arrest warrant.

On Nov. 11, police charged Kui with sex abuse of a minor, soliciting sex from a minor, and two counts of third-degree sex offense. The most severe of the crimes, sex abuse of a minor, carries a penalty of up to 25 years in prison.

At a press conference at police headquarters in Gaithersburg Tuesday, Russ Hamill, an assistant chief for Montgomery County police, called the crimes “especially disturbing.”

“Our victim was a child,” Hamill said. “He should have been protected and nurtured by his teacher and everyone he came in contact with. Instead, his teacher chose, from her position of trust over him, she chose to violate that trust ... to irrevocably harm this child.”

Ron Harding, the father of the victim, appeared at the press conference to describe the ordeal he and his family have been through and to encourage anyone else who might have been a victim of sexual abuse to talk to police. The Gazette does not normally identify victims of sexual abuse or their family members, but Harding agreed to be named.

Harding, a minister, said the abuse took place while he and his family were attending church services. Harding and his wife contacted police on Nov. 11, shortly after learning about the alleged abuse.

Kui had been teaching their son since June, he said.

According to police, The Frost School began an internal investigation the same day, after school officials learned about the alleged incidents.

The school fired Kui on Nov. 12, police said.

Officials at the school did not respond to repeated calls for comment Tuesday.

Investigators applied for a search warrant and arrest warrant on Nov. 12.

Kui, meanwhile, told the victim in a phone conversation she would rather flee the country than go to jail, and, on Nov. 13, flew to Hong Kong, where she has a brother, the arrest warrant stated.

“This is the kind of situation that kills the faith of individuals, and separates people in our society,” Harding said.

He said the events traumatized his son, and the trauma would be “long, and revealed slowly.” As they drove by the school recently, his son, upset by what has happened, ripped off pieces of door panels inside the car, Harding said.

“Its challenging for him, because with autism, he does not display his emotions, but he feels them deeper than most of us,” he said.

The boy’s parents are struggling because they can’t have their son at the school currently, Harding said. He and his wife spent six years trying to get their son into the school, he said.

Victor Del Pino, an attorney for the couple, said in a phone interview that he didn’t know if they would keep their son at the school.

Capt. Robert Carter, head of Montgomery County Police’s Family Crimes Division, said police were coordinating with prosecutors and federal officials to track down Kui.

They also will work with Interpol — a global police agency — and the Chinese government, he said.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of if we find her, but a matter of when,” he said.