-------- -- --:--
2008-02-06 Wed 21:57
MSJ student facing felony
February 2, 2008
By ERIC FRANCIS Herald Correspondent
A South Korean exchange student who has been attending Mount St. Joseph Academy is now facing felony charges that carry the potential of up to life in prison after allegations surfaced he has been molesting small children.
Hanse Park, 19, was ordered held without bail Friday morning following his arraignment in White River Junction District Court in White River Junction, where a court-appointed public defender entered innocent pleas on Park's behalf to two felony counts of aggravated sexual assault against a victim under the age of 10 and to a third felony count of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child.
Citing Park's lack of ties to the community and the fact that the crimes of which he is now accused carry penalties of no less than 10 years and no more than life, Judge Thomas Zonay ordered Park jailed at least until his next hearing, which is currently scheduled for March 10.
Vermont State Police Trooper Steven Otis wrote in his affidavit that the investigation into Park began Thursday afternoon after state officials received a report detailing the alleged abuse.
Otis and an investigator from the Department of Children and Families immediately interviewed the young children and reported they were able to give graphic descriptions of the alleged sexual contact with one of the alleged victims, estimating there had been 20 separate incidents of inappropriate touching and molestation before police stepped in.
Otis wrote that Park was subsequently picked up by police at his school and taken to the state police barracks in Rockingham, where "he advised he understood" his Miranda warnings and "eventually agreed to waive (them) and speak to me." Otis said that Park detailed several instances that appeared to match the behavior and actions outlined by the children who had reported him.
Park was lodged overnight in the Springfield jail prior to his arraignment after he was unable to post the $50,000 in bail that had initially been ordered by Judge Kathleen Manley.
| HOME |