The High Court has issued today an order to withhold the passport of an Indian teacher suspected of sexually abusing several students a day after he fled the country.
Wilson Thomas, who was teaching English in Gaafu Alif Gemanafushi, was arrested under a court order on July 13. He is accused of repeatedly abusing several girls, all less than 18 years of age.
Thomas was initially remanded for 15 days. A court in Gaaf Alif Maamendhoo released him on Tuesday.
A spokesperson from the Prosecutor General’s (PG) office said they had filed an appeal when Thomas left the country.
“According to regulations, the PG has to appeal all matters relating to criminal issues. We got the court order today. He left the country yesterday,” he said.
Almost one in seven children of secondary school age in the Maldives have been sexually abused at some time in their lives, according to an unpublished 2009 study on violence against minors.
The rate of sexual abuse for boys was at 11 percent while the figure for girls were almost twice as high at 20 percent.