A student exchange program, being sued by a German student, was aware a host parent had a criminal record, lawyers said in a Portland, Ore., court.
Both sides gave opening statements Tuesday in Multnomah County, Ore., Court in a civil case which seeks $2 million from host parent Craig Ley of Beaverton, Ore., and $4 million from Pacific International Exchange.
Ley, now 52, molested the then-16-year-old German exchange student, pleaded guilty to four counts of second-degree sex abuse in 2011 and was sentenced to five years in prison.
Ley had noted his conviction, for felony mail fraud, on every application he submitted to Pacific International Exchange, and twice included a letter of explanation, said attorney Erin Olson, who represents the student, and each time the program approved him to host a student.
The program's attorney, John Kaempf, said Ley's 2004 conviction did not indicate the possibility he would sexually abuse anyone.
Ley, an insurance claims manager, processed a false claim using the name and bank account of a past exchange student, the (Portland) Oregonian reported Wednesday.
Olson said the program did not follow federal rules to protect exchange students, which include background checks of potential host families.
The U.S. State Department sanctioned the program in July, preventing it from sponsoring students, the newspaper noted.