The parents of an autistic 15-year-old boy whom police say was sexually victimized by a 25-year-old female teacher at The Frost School near Rockville spoke publicly Tuesday "to help comfort others that have experienced the same kind of tragedy."
Ronald and Tracy Harding, the boy's parents, spoke to reporters at Montgomery County Police headquarters. Their autistic son’s teacher, Yee Tak Sharon Kui, is at the center of a police investigation.
Kui, 25, has been charged with two counts of third-degree sex offense, sex abuse of a minor and sexual solicitation of a minor. Police claim she has left the country to avoid prosecution.
The Hardings said this was the sort of incident that has the potential to kill people’s faith.
“Corinthians II 1-4, calls God the God of all comfort,” said Harding, who is a minister. “And that is why we’ve come forward, because eventually we will receive comfort. And we will use that comfort to help comfort others that have experienced the same kind of tragedy.”
Kui taught the teen at The Frost School, which serves children and teens with disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and related special needs. The Frost School is part of the Sheppard Pratt Health System and is located on Aspen Hill Road, between Rockville and Wheaton.
Assistant Chief Russell Hamill said Kui is accused of having an “inappropriate relationship” with the teen and that the “relationship eventually included sexual acts.”
Police said there was illegal sexual contact between Kui twice in November at the boy’s Silver Spring home. The incidents occurred while his parents were at church, the boy’s father said Tuesday.
“Our victim was a child and a child of special needs,” Hamill said. “He should have been nurtured and protected by this teacher and everybody he comes into contact with. Instead this teacher chose—in this position of trust over him—this teacher chose to violate that trust and further chose to irreparably harm this child. For that she needs be held accountable.”
Kui also sent text messages to the teen, according to MCP Capt. Robert Carter.
Police said the boy notified his family of the incidents and family members contacted police on Nov. 11. The school notified child protective services the next day.
Bonnie B. Katz, a spokesperson for Sheppard Pratt, said in an emailed statement Tuesday that Kui was an “educational assistant.”
The school suspended and eventually fired Kui after learning of a “boundary violation” involving “communication over social media between the educational assistant and student on their respective personal cell phones,” according to the statement.
But Carter said before detectives could make contact with Kui, she was gone. Police said information from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security suggests she may have left for Hong Kong on an early morning flight Nov. 13.
Carter said they are pursuing Kui’s extradition.