American School Teacher Facing Probe For Sexual Harassment Found Dead
MONROVIA, Dec. 21 (LINA) – Mr. Douglas Matthew Vargas Jr. was being investigated by authorities of Our Lady of Grace School International located in Sinkor, Monrovia for allegedly forwarding nude photos and indecent messages to some female students, but he was found dead in his apartment before answering to the allegations.
The school earlier termed the situation as unfortunate and confirmed to the public that the deceased instructor was reported by a student who had displayed to the administration of the school some of the indecent messages sent to her phone by the instructor; she also alleged that the instructor had been engaged in sexual harassment with other female students.
Mr. Vargas, a U.S. citizen, is said to be a former teacher at the erstwhile “More Than Me Academy” which was rocked by a sex scandal uncovered by a nonprofit investigative newsroom ‘ProPublica’ back in 2019. His death has been attributed to suicide based upon preliminary investigation.
Lately, the U.S. Embassy near Monrovia commented that “We can confirm the death of a U.S. Citizen in Liberia and we offer sincere condolences to the family on their loss.”
“We are aware of the allegations,” said the U.S. statement which was issued by Sean Boda, Head of Public Affairs.
Acting upon the complaint filed, the school’s administration said it immediately launched an internal investigation into the student’s allegations and informed the instructor about the consequences of the acts complained should they be true, and filed a written statement to the investigation committee.
It said that several calls were placed to the instructor, both from the Administration of the school and the school’s legal counsel for the investigation into the complaint of sexual harassment; but the instructor’s phone rang endlessly without a response; and upon arrival of his house attendant, who has a key to his house.
“It was established that the door was locked from the inside, thus prompting the administration to contact the Liberia national police, who upon arrival at the instructor’s house, managed to gain entrance and discovered his lifeless body,” said the school’s release.
While the police seek to ascertain the cause of death, the school said it remains committed to academic excellence and moral uprightness and will never compromise these virtues, and therefore assures parents as well as teaching staff of the school’s resolve to promptly deal with persons in breach of these principles without fear or favor and in accordance to the laws of the Republic of Liberia.
Also, the spokesperson of the Liberia National Police told journalists that the Police had been informed of Vargas’ conduct and that prior to the investigation by the police the alleged suicide occurred.