A former teacher last week pleaded guilty in a US federal court to sexually exploiting a student from his previous school in China.
According to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Missouri, Curtis J. Baldwin, a 47-year-old American who previously worked as an English language teacher in China for EF Education First, pleaded guilty to “one count of the sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of receiving and distributing child pornography.”
EF Education First is the parent organization of EF English First, which has more than 300 schools across over 60 cities in China, according to its official website.
Baldwin left EF in November 2019, and returned to Springfield, Missouri where he contacted a 12-year-old former student via WeChat, court records show.
Baldwin told the student he had video footage that showed her engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and threatened to share it on the internet unless she sent him images and a video of herself engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
The student’s father became aware of the messages and contacted EF.
In March 2020, US federal agents carried out a search warrant at Baldwin’s home and found child pornography, including videos of minor Chinese females engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Under US federal statutes, Baldwin faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole and is subject up to a sentence of 50 years without parole.
Last year, a foreign teacher in Qingdao was arrested for allegedly molesting a young girl. The incident took place at a kindergarten run by RYB Education Inc.
[Cover image via Unsplash]