Abu Faour vows full investigation of teacher accused of sexual assault

4 06 2012

BEIRUT: Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour promised Monday a full and transparent investigation into the alleged case of sexual assault and sexual harassment by a teacher of a number of underage students at Aintoura School in Mount Lebanon.

“The case will be followed up by the judiciary … we agreed on establishing a committee which brings together the ministries of Education, Social Affairs, and Justice,” said Abu Faour, who vowed that concrete results would be reached.

“The committee will draft recommendations in an effort to produce a plan of action which will be announced next

Monday,” added Abu Faour

Both Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi and Education Minister Hassan Diab highlighted the need to organize awareness campaigns regarding the threat posed by sexual predators. The ministers said that the campaigns should be conducted collectively by families, schools and public administrations.

Judicial sources told the Daily Star that the teacher’s name is Pierre Shalash and that he is 22 years old. Local Arabic-language news outlets have referred to the suspect by his initials, P.S.

Sources added that as soon as Shalash leaves the hospital, where he is being treated for injuries sustained in a car accident he had Saturday, the Office for Preserving Public Order and Conduct will investigate him.

In the meantime, the families of the schoolgirls filed a lawsuit against the teacher. The Social Affairs minister filed a similar lawsuit Saturday.

Aintoura School, where Shalash taught, decided to expel him even before an investigation was launched.

In a news conference Monday, the school announced that it would file a lawsuit against the teacher and contact psychiatrists to provide counseling to his alleged victims.

The Association of Teachers in Private Schools issued a statement Monday addressing the incident and expressing confidence in the work of the judiciary.

“We trust the judiciary, so we ask the various media outlets to wait for the results of the investigation. If the teacher is convicted, we will call for very tough punishment,” said head of the association Nehme Mahfoud.





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