International School Teacher Accused of Molesting Students With Drug-Laced Oreo

By McCarton Ackerman 05/14/14

William James Vahey's molestation of young boys dates back to 1969, but he managed to continue drugging and raping children with impunity for decades.

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William James Vahey in 2013. Photo via

A teacher at one of the most elite international private schools in the world reportedly rendered students helpless with drug-laced Oreos before touching them and posing for nude photos as they lay unconscious.

William James Vahey committed suicide in March after a memory drive surfaced which contained evidence that he had molested up to 90 adolescent boys, many of whom were students at the schools where he worked. The photos showed unconscious boys between the ages of 12 to 14, with several being touched by Vahey. He swallowed more than 100 sleeping pills last November in an attempt to take his own life after discovering the USB drive had been taken, then stabbed himself to death last March at a hotel in Luverne, Minn., where his mother, brother and sister-in-law live.

His suicide came shortly after being confronted with the memory drive by Gloria Doll, director of the American Nicaraguan School in Managua. She claimed in an FBI affidavit that he admitted to giving the boys sleeping pills and justified his behavior by stating that “I was molested as a boy. That is why I do this. I have been doing this my whole life.” Doll demanded his resignation and Nicaraguan police were notified, but by then he had already fled to the U.S.
His child sex abuse charges date back to 1969, when he pinched the penises of eight boys between the ages of seven to nine while working as a swim coach in California. He reportedly molested hundreds of children throughout his life, leading FBI Special Agent Sharon Dunlap to call him “one of the most prolific pedophiles we’ve seen due to the sheer numbers.”

Although he was required to register as a sex offender after his first offense, he never updated his information after registering and authorities never bothered to pursue him. Despite still having the charge on his record, he landed jobs at international teaching schools across the world including in Iran, Lebanon, and Spain, working primarily with middle school students. He also took the students on school travel trips across the globe.

Many of the schools where Vahey has taught over the years are now reviewing their background check policies and security procedures. “It certainly bothers me that a person like that would be left unsupervised and obviously not tracked over the last 45 years now,” said one of his victims, who was molested at the age of nine and is now an adult. “I find it troubling. I guess the question now is how can the system allow that to happen?”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.