Host questions oversight after Altamonte Springs man accused of having sex with exchange student

Host questions oversight after Altamonte Springs man accused of having sex with exchange student

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. — A Seminole County woman who regularly hosts foreign exchange students has raised questions of oversight of the homes where they stay following the arrest of an Altamonte Springs man accused of molesting a 15-year-old Swedish girl.

The Seminole County woman, who did not want to be identified, said she signed up to host foreign exchange students for the experience.

Some people, though, are just in it for the money, she said.

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"If you put five kids in your house and they're paying you $20 a night, stick them on the walls," she said. "If you have them for 15 days, do the math."

Investigators said Ernest Alfred, 32, and his girlfriend were hosting exchange students for four weeks this summer when he was arrested Monday.

Deputies said the allegations came about after a teenage foreign-exchange student told authorities her host father had sexual contact with her on two separate occasions.

The students are supposed to be learning the English language, but a Swedish student told authorities that she and her host father had consensual sex in his car outside a dollar store near near their home July 21.

But the following day, she said Alfred forced her to perform a sex act on him at an Altamonte Springs home.

“There was a total of four foreign-exchange students in the home. We spoke to each and every one of them, and this one disclosed there was (something) inappropriate occurring in the home,” said Kim Cannaday of the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said Alfred and his girlfriend, who have children of their own at the home, are hosting the children for four weeks.

Deputies said the exchange students will stay at the home for the time being with the girlfriend and children.

“He has been ordered not to have any contact with anybody living in that home or staying in the home at this point,” said Cannaday. “He is nt invited to go back to the home, so we will have no contact with anybody living in this home at this point.”

Cannaday said the case raises other concerns.

“What raises this to an even more serious level is that these students were placed in that home, and this suspect was placed in a position of care of authority of trust for these individuals,” she said.

The sheriff’s office has not said the name of the program.

Monday's arrest was not the first incident of alleged inappropriate contact between a host and foreign exchange student, officials said.

In January, Orange County deputies arrested Josua Perez and charged him with sexual battery and exposure of sexual organs after a Vietnamese exchange student accused him of forcing her into sexual encounters 13 times in three months.