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Archive for April, 2013

Hard work awaits pope and abuse survivors

Mary Gail Frawley-O’Dea  |  Apr. 23, 2013

Perlitz sex abuse lawsuits move forward

Michael P. Mayko

Updated 10:55 pm, Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Read more on Connecticut Post

CTPost-05-Doug Perlitz-Project Pierre Toussaint- Cap-Haitien-628x471

Douglas Perlitz, center, in Haiti, at the “Village” with some of the boys from the Project Pierre Toussaint, a program in Cap-Haitien designed to give a future to boys with none.
Photo: Contributed Photo, CP Read more: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Perlitz-sex-abuse-lawsuits-move-forward-4402631.php#ixzz2PVUyQklM

CTPost-06-Cap Haitien-Doug Perlitz-Project Pierre Toussaint-628x471

Christian Abraham/Staff photographer Scenes from around Cap-Haitien on Thursday Dec. 17, 2009. This is a view of the front of the home that Douglas Perlitz lived in while he was director of Project Pierre Toussaint.
Photo: Christian Abraham, ST | Read more: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Perlitz-sex-abuse-lawsuits-move-forward-4402631.php#ixzz2PVVFppQZ

CTPost-01-doug perlitz-628x471

Douglas Perlitz, a graduate of Fairfield University, is serving a nearly 20-year prison term after he pleaded guilty to traveling overseas to engage in sex with a minor. Perlitz ran a school for boys in Haiti. On Monday, April 1, 2013, U.S. District Judge Robert Chatigny began clearing the way for trial for a number of civil suits that claim negligent supervision of Perlitz led to the sex assaults.
Photo: Jeff Bustraan, ST | Read more: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Perlitz-sex-abuse-lawsuits-move-forward-4402631.php#ixzz2PVUBosT3

CTPost-04-Paul Carrier-Doug Perlitz-Hope Carter-628x471

Rev. Paul Carrier and Douglas Perlitz with Hope Carter of New Canaan, who was one of the biggest benefactors for the Haiti Fund which bankrolled Project Pierre Toussaint.
Photo: Contributed Photo, CP
Read more: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Perlitz-sex-abuse-lawsuits-move-forward-4402631.php#ixzz2PVUfWwPE

CTPost-07-Cyrus Sibert-Doug Perlitz-child abuse628x471

Cyrus Sibert’s investigative work on the abuse of street children led to the arrest of US citizen Douglas Perlitz, who operated a school in the city.
Photo: Christian Abraham, ST

CTPost-08-Fairfield University-President Jeffrey vonArx-Al Alickey-Kids Alive International-Doug Perlitz-628x471

Fairfield University President Jeffrey vonArx listens to the comments of Al Alckey from Kids Alive International on why the organization’s education and job training efforts were unsuccessful in working with Perlitz sex abuse victims in Haiti.
Photo: Brian A. Pounds | Read more: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Perlitz-sex-abuse-lawsuits-move-forward-4402631.php#ixzz2PVVl6uZX


HARTFORD — Charges of widespread sexual abuse by the director of a program funded by wealthy area Catholics and created to help abandoned Haitian boys appear headed to trial.

U.S. District Judge Robert Chatigny, who is presiding over the 22 cases each seeking more than $20 million, began clearing the way for trial by dismissing several of the charges while allowing others, including the negligent supervision of Douglas Perlitz, to stand. No date had been set for the trial as of Tuesday.

Perlitz, a Fairfield University graduate whose work in Haiti garnered him national attention, is serving a 19-year, seven-month federal prison term after he pleaded guilty to traveling overseas to engage in sex with a minor. During his sentencing, he admitted there were several victims.

Shortly after Perlitz’s sentencing, 23 alleged victims permitted Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston lawyer who has won millions suing Catholic priests and their dioceses on sexual-abuse charges, to pick up their cause. In the suits, Garabedian named the Rev. Paul Carrier, a former chaplain at Fairfield University and Perlitz’s mentor; Fairfield University and the Society of Jesus New England, Carrier’s order, as defendants negligent in their supervision of the program. He also sued Hope Carter, a New Canaan philanthropist; the Order of Malta, American Association, which provided the 1997 start-up grant to Perlitz; and the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes, along with 15 others on similar negligence charges. Carter and Carrier also were directors of the Haiti Fund, a nonprofit organization that raised money for Perlitz’s programs. Each suit seeks $20 million in damages from each defendant.

The civil cases arise out of a joint investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Haitian National Police that determined Perlitz assaulted several young boys while serving as director of Project Pierre Toussaint in Cap-Haitien, Haiti’s second largest city.

The three-stage program, which included a walled-in residential school, was designed to feed, clothe and educate abandoned Haitian boys. Funds for the program were raised by wealthy Fairfield and Westchester County Catholics as well as by Fairfield University and the Order of Malta.

It shut down in 2009 when funding dried up after the allegations against Perlitz became public in Haiti.

In his ruling released Monday, Chatigny dismissed three charges against Carrier and Carter.

The judge determined they could not be sued for assisting Perlitz in violating a law that makes it illegal for a U.S. citizen to travel overseas to engage in sex with minors, as well assisting in the violation of customary international law because of the sexual abuse.

Additionally, the judge found that none of the defendants could be sued for vicarious liability because none of them authorized Perlitz to engage in such conduct nor could they be sued for secondary liability.

Chatigny decided, however, Carrier, Carter, Fairfield University, the Society of Jesus and the Order of Malta could be sued for negligence in their supervision of Perlitz.

In doing so, Chatigny determined, “I conclude that the plaintiffs have alleged enough factual matter, accepted as true, to support a plausible inference that each of the … defendants had a duty to supervise Perlitz in his activities as director of Project Pierre Toussaint.”

In his ruling, the judge noted allegations that Carrier was present when Perlitz showed a pornographic video to a student and also “shunned” an administrator who tried to stop the sexual abuse.

“Importantly Perlitz’s sexual abuse of the plaintiffs occurred at a time when organizations involved with young people had become cognizant of the need to take precautions to project young people against a risk of sexual abuse by pedophiles,” the judge wrote.

The judge also let stand a complaint that Fairfield University and the Society of Jesus were negligent in their supervision of Carrier and along with others breached their fiduciary duty to the street boys.

He reached his decision by finding the school designated Carrier “as its agent overseeing Project Pierre Toussaint” and that the society authorized his involvement in Perlitz’s program.

Read more on the Connecticut Post


IGNATIUS GROUP____U.S. NONPROFIT BOARD MEMBERS TAKE NOTICE: YOU WILL FACE PERSONAL LIABILITY FOR CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE IN HAITI”NEGLIGENCE OF SUPERVISION”