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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Music teacher from Dubai school to face child sex charges in America

US citizen William Ball arrested in Florida after arranging to meet child, 7

A Dubai music teacher suspected of soliciting a minor in America has been suspended with immediate effect from his position at Swiss International Scientific School.

US media reports said William Ball, from Mississippi, was arrested by marshals shortly after arriving in Florida after setting up a meeting for sex with a child.

He is alleged to have arranged to meet the 7-year-old after paying $5,000 to fly from Dubai to America.

The school employing Ball has written to parents to reassure them that robust child protection measures are in place.

“Mr Ball has been suspended with immediate effect pending confirmation and the outcome of the judicial process,” a school spokeswoman said.

“The school would like to confirm that Mr Ball was recruited through a reputable agency with stringent background checks in place.

“In addition to these checks, the school carried out its own verifications and obtained police clearance valid from 2011 until the start of employment in 2017.

“All references also explicitly confirmed that he was suitable to work with children.

“Moreover, it is essential to underline that no related child protection concerns have been reported to the SISD child protection co-ordinator in the case of this teacher, or any other.

“We take child protection extremely seriously and a Council of International Schools visitor recently commended "the level of detail in place to ensure any person working with children or (who) has the potential of working with children, has the appropriate background checks.

“The wellbeing of children at our school is our top priority.

“To that end, our pastoral and child protection teams are monitoring and supporting students closely.”

Although a US federal indictment only lists the charges against Mr Ball, prosecutors at a bond hearing in Tampa revealed the man had arranged the meeting by mobile phone and internet.

Those conversations are now being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security.

Mr Ball is being charged with soliciting a minor for sex and child pornography.