US teacher accused of sexually abusing autistic boy 'fled to Hong Kong'

Woman, 25, thought to be in city, faces charges over alleged offence on autistic teen

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 December, 2013, 6:13pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 December, 2013, 9:30am

An American teacher accused of sexually abusing an autistic student was believed to have fled to Hong Kong last month, US media revealed yesterday.

Sharon Kui Yee-tak, a 25-year-old former teacher's aide at the privately run Frost School in Montgomery County, Maryland, was accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with a 15-year-old pupil with autism.

Kui was subsequently fired by the school, which teaches children who have behavioural disabilities, autism and other special needs.

She allegedly exchanged explicit text messages with the boy before driving to his home in the same county on two occasions - both Sunday mornings, when the boy's parents were at church. The first time, Kui was said to have "kissed the victim and fondled his penis". She allegedly had sex with him the second time.

"As a human being you experience shock, rage, fear," Ron Harding, the boy's father, told US media on Tuesday. "This is the kind of situation that kills the faith of individuals and separates people in our society."

The victim's family reported the offence to police on November 11. Kui was said to have taken an early morning flight from New York to Hong Kong on November 13, a day after an arrest warrant was obtained. Montgomery police told local media that Kui's brother lived in Hong Kong.

Kui was charged with sexual solicitation of a minor, sex abuse of a minor and two counts of a third-degree sex offence.

Kui graduated from the University of Maryland in 2011. One of her friends told the Washington Post in an interview that she was stunned by the allegations and did not believe Kui was capable of them. The newspaper also cited a statement of charges saying Kui phoned the victim on the night his family contacted police and told him she would "flee the country rather than go to jail".

Montgomery police are reportedly working with Hong Kong officials to try to extradite Kui. A Hong Kong police spokesman said the force would not comment on individual cases.