Suwanee couple accused of taking advantage of foreign exchange students

by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:

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SUWANEE, Ga. - A Suwanee couple is facing charges after police say they abused the international students they hosted.

Woo Yi and Hyun Yi have been charged with child molestation and furnishing alcohol to minors.

Police said the six victims are between the ages of 15 and 18 years old, and are all from Korea.

Investigators said the Yis charged the Korean students families $15,000 each for their stay in their home on Regal Oaks Drive.

"It is our understanding that the families in Korea became aware of the host family through the Internet," said Cpl. Jake Smith with the Gwinnett County Police Department.

Police were unclear if the Yis had a business website set up or if they met through a site like Craigslist.

According to their arrest warrants, during a nine-week period beginning in July, the pair took advantage of their host students, giving them alcohol and "directing them to take off the clothes."

"I have actually never heard of something like this happening," said host family coordinator Jamie Decter.

Decter said these students are likely among a growing number of kids coming to America from China, India and South Korea.

She said the term for them is "parachute kids." Their parents pay big money to send them to the U.S. for a chance at an American education.

"Competition in the academic communities in Asia is really fierce. Parents feel the need to make any sacrifice necessary to send their children here," Decter told Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh.

Decter runs the organization Everyday Interaction, which helps arrange visas and carefully vets all homes before any students are ever placed. She said parents make an enormous sacrifice to send their kids to the United States, emotionally and financially.

Police said the Yis preyed on parents' desire to give their kids a better life.

Invesitgators said the allegations came to light when one of the students reported them to a worker at his school.

The Yis are currently being held in the Gwinnett County Jail without bond.