Feds file new charges against Perlitz in New York
Michael P. Mayko, Staff Writer
Published: 06:17 p.m., Friday, July 16, 2010
A federal magistrate judge in Brooklyn, N.Y., Friday authorized the arrest of Douglas Perlitz, the former Fairfield University graduate who created a program to educate and feed homeless Haitian boys, on federal charges that he engaged in sexual intercourse with two of his 16-year-old students not long after boarding a Haitian-bound plane at John F. Kennedy International Airport in 2005 and 2006, respectively.
It charges him with two counts each of traveling from JFK to Haiti with the intention of engaging in sex with the two boys and then actually having sex with them. Each charge carries a maximum 30-year prison term and $250,000 fine.
The new arrest comes 48 hours after U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton dismissed a 24-count indictment alleging Perlitz abused 18 underage students of his Project Pierre Toussaint, a three-stage program to feed, clothe, educate and shelter homeless boys in Cap-Haitien, Haiti's second-largest city.
The judge determined the case could not be tried in Connecticut because there was no evidence any criminal acts occurred here. However, she suggested the prosecution could bring charges in a state where he actually boarded a plane bound to Haiti.
"It's a shame that Mr. Perlitz spent almost a year being incarcerated on charges that were improperly filed," said William F. Dow, III, who with David Grudberg represent Perlitz. "We intend to again enter not guilty pleas and address these four charges, which are 20 less than he was facing and involve only two, not 18 complainants."
But the 22-page arrest warrant sworn to by Special Agent Rod Khattabi of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, alleges that two ranking members of the Haiti Fund, the Fairfield-based fund raising charity for Perlitz's Project Pierre Toussaint, helped remove computers from his Haitian home at a time when the fund was investigating allegations that students were sexually abused.
Neither board member has been charged with any wrongdoing.
Khattabi advised Azrack he has both computers, which are being analyzed by Homeland Security technicians.
Already authorities have determined that a laptop was used to access several sexual sites showing black boys engaged in sex. For instance from 2006 to 2008, the technicians claim that while Perlitz was in Haiti, the laptop was used to access gay pornography sites..
One of the victims identified in the warrant claims Perlitz had him watch gay pornography on the computer and gave him 50 Haitian gourdes, about $1, after sex.
This student said specifically he engaged in intercourse with Perlitz in June, 2006, when he was 16, according to the arrest warrant.
Khattabi's investigation determined that Perlitz traveled to Haiti from JFK on May, 29. 2006 and did not return until September, 2006.
The second victim maintained that Perlitz sexually abused him on April 1, 2005 and in June, 2005, the arrest warrant charges.
Khattabi obtained travel records showing Perlitz flew from JFK to Haiti on June 6, 2005 and returned to the U.S. on July 3, 2005.
The agent also interviewed Perlitz's driver in Haiti who told him he "observed children sleeping in Perlitz's room with only towels around them."
On one occasion, the driver said he took one of the children, who complained of "rectal issues" to see a doctor.
"While in the car, the child accused Perlitz of being the one who did this to me," Khattabi claims the driver told him.
It is expected that Perlitz will be transferred July 23 from the Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls, R.I., to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn facility is a converted warehouse run by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, while Wyatt is a privately run detention facility.
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