According to U.S.-based media outlet ABC Action, authorities have arrested a man who is believed to have paid 18,000 dirhams ($5,000) to fly from Dubai to Florida to have sex with a 7-year-old child.
The man, identified as William Ball, is originally from Mississippi and was working as a music teacher at the Swiss International Scientific School (SISD) in Dubai. Prior to his latest appointment in Dubai, he was employed by the Qatar Academy in Doha.
The federal indictment against Ball only lists the charges and does not give details about the alleged crime, but during a hearing in a federal court in Tampa, the prosecutor explained that Hall was using the internet and a mobile phone to set up and meet a 7-year-old, media reports stated.
According to the prosecutor, Ball paid 18,000 dirhams ($5,000) to buy a plane ticket and traveled to the U.S. to meet the child. When he was apprehended, the prosecutor says he was carrying items for a child, condoms, and lubricant with him.
The prosecutor went on to state that they have extensive internet conversations and an online history regarding the case, which is being handled by the Department of Homeland Security.
The accused is now being charged with soliciting a minor for sex and child pornography.
In a statement on the matter, Qatar Academy's press office said that they were "shocked to hear about the allegations made against a former Qatar Academy Doha (QAD) teacher" and that they are "committed to safeguarding and protecting the welfare of children".
QAD also reassured students, parents, and staff that counseling personnel is on hand to provide whatever support needed.
The Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai also confirmed in a written statement that Ball has been suspended with immediate effect pending confirmation and the outcome of the judicial process. The school added that it informed parents and staff as well as the relevant stakeholders.
SISD also confirmed that Ball was recruited through a "reputable agency with stringent background checks in place" and emphasized that the wellbeing of children at the school is their top priority.
People online are absolutely disgusted by the incident...
Former students are in shock...
Editor's note: The article has been updated and now includes correspondence from the Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai and the Qatar Academy in Doha.