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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • US sex assaults at Concordia language cillage lead to conviction in France

  • A French national teaching his native language in the Minneapolis area has been convicted in France of sexually assaulting boys during a 2010 field trip to a language camp in northern Minnesota, authorities said Friday.
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  • A French national teaching his native language in the Minneapolis area has been convicted in France of sexually assaulting boys during a 2010 field trip to a language camp in northern Minnesota, authorities said Friday.
    Adrien Massy, 32, was sentenced in a jury trial in Angers, France, to 12 years in prison. Massy allegedly assaulted six children altogether in Minnesota, then fled to France to avoid trial.
    Four of Massy's victims were French citizens, and two were Americans, Alain Frecon, French consul in Minneapolis, told the Star Tribune.
    Frecon, an attorney, explained that Massy was tried in France because Massy acknowledged he had committed similar crimes in his homeland.
    There is no extradition treaty between the U.S. and France that would have required Massy's return to Minnesota, the diplomat said.
    "He was a fugitive of the law in the U.S., but he was not a fugitive of the law in France," Frecon said.
    Two of Massy's victims in Minnesota were boys and were with Massy in May 2010 on a field trip from the French Academy of Minnesota in St. Louis Park to the Concordia language camp, Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp said.
    Investigators from Beltrami County, St. Louis Park and Edina working on the camp assaults also learned of four additional sex crimes against children in the Twin Cities area by Massy, Hodapp said.
    Massy was fired from his French Academy teaching position, his visa was revoked and he fled to France, the sheriff said.
    French authorities arrested Massy two years later, leading to a failed attempt by U.S. officials to have him extradited.
    Upon his conviction, which was assisted by testimony from the parents of some of his Minnesota victims, "Massy apologized in court to the parents who were present," Frecon said.
    Massy's teaching position was arranged through an exchange program run by Amity Institute of San Diego at the request of the school in St. Louis Park.
    "I don't think there is anything that could have been done to prevent this," Trudy Hermann, executive director at Amity Institute, said Friday.
    Hermann said her institute conducted a thorough background check on Massy, which resulted in a clean report from authorities in France. Then, Hermann said, the institute did the same in the United States.
    "We did not (find anything)," Hermann said, "or else he would not have been placed."
    Veronique Liebmann, the director of the privately operated French Academy of Minnesota, said in a statement Friday that her school cooperated fully in the case against Massy. That included her attending the trial in France and providing "a statement as an impacted party," the statement read.
    Concordia Language Villages' programs are considered among the nation's leading immersion curricula, with instruction offered to children and adults in more than a dozen languages. The villages are run by Concordia College of Moorhead.
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