Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tony Licata story from Colleyville, Texas where insider, not foreign exchange student, was protected


Urgent message from CSFES:
May 23, 2009

Tony Licata [see news story below] has allegedly hosted more than four exchange students.

If you are a former exchange student who was supervised or lived with Tony Licata, you are encouraged to contact Officer Kathy Manning at 817-884-1204 or email:

You are welcome to provide a copy to the Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students [at] Requests to remain anonymous will be respected.


To: United States Department of State

This is a complaint against American Field Service (AFS) for failure to report the following to the police. (See story below.)

The federal regulations are clear: Reporting requirements. Along with the annual report required by regulations set forth at § 62.15, sponsors must file with the Department of State the following information:

(1) Sponsors must immediately report to the Department any incident or allegation involving the actual or alleged sexual exploitation or abuse of an exchange student participant. Sponsors must also report such allegations as required by local or state statute or regulation. Failure to report such incidents to the Department and, as required by state law or regulation, to local law enforcement authorities shall be grounds for the summary suspension and termination of the sponsor's Exchange Visitor Program designation."

Danielle Grijalva, Director
Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students
P.O. Box 6496
Oceanside, CA 92052

Colleyville councilman accused of assaulting exchange student
By Darren Barbee

Colleyville City [Texas] Councilman Tony Licata is accused of pinning down a foreign exchange student on a bed and touching her inappropriately before she fought him off, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. Licata, 57, resigned Thursday, the same day he was booked. He did not respond to email and phone messages seeking comment.

"Once we have investigated the allegation we'll have more to say," said Stephanie Luce, a Dallas attorney representing Licata. "He is a good and decent man."

The incident happened in November but wasn't reported to police until April, after the student told a counselor. After receiving an emergency report about the situation in November, American Field Service, which arranged for Licata to host the student, moved the student from Licata's home but did not contact police.

According to a Web site, Licata is chairman of the Tarrant County chapter of American Field Service (AFS).

The safety and security of students is the first priority of the service, said Marlene Baker, AFS spokeswoman.

"I can't discuss specifics with you. What I can tell you is that based on information we had at the time that we followed protocol at that time," Baker said. "The protocol included moving the student, notifying the student's parents, notifying the (U.S.) State Department and offering counseling to the student."

...Here's what happened Nov. 4, according to the arrest warrant affidavit:

About 5:30 p.m., Tony Licata called the girl into his bedroom to show her a cellphone that he had for her. They sat on the end of the bed reading the instruction book.

The girl said she was tired and started to get up. Licatta "grabbed her from behind and began hugging and rubbing her on her breast and stomach," according to the warrant.

The girl struggled and Licata threw her on the bed, got on top of her and began kissing her neck and shoulders, the warrant says. The girl continued to struggle, got free and stood in the corner of the room crying...

A counselor reported the allegations to authorities...

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