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mercredi 20 avril 2011

Connecticut law firm sues for $110 million in damages against Jesuit order, Fairfield and Catholic priest in Haiti child sex abuse case






Jesuit Schools Sued in Child Sex Case






HARTFORD (CN) - A man who says he was sexually abused at a school for street children in Haiti seeks $110 million in damages from Fairfield University, the Jesuit order, and former Connecticut resident Douglas Perlitz, who is serving 19 years in prison for sexually abusing children at Project Pierre Toussaint, in Cap-Haitien.




Joseph Jean-Charles, one of Perlitz's accusers, sued the defendants, which include The Haiti Fund and a priest, Fr. Paul Carrier, who allegedly hired and supervised Perlitz.




Jean-Charles claims Fairfield University - a Jesuit school - the Society of Jesus of New England and 12 John Does were negligent in hiring Perlitz to run the school and home, and helped him cover up the sexual abuse.



Perlitz held a position of trust so that the children he oversaw "would have confidence that the conduct defendant Perlitz engaged in was to further the best interests of the minor boys," according to the 23-page complaint.



"In approximately 2006, when the plaintiff was approximately 15 years old, defendant Perlitz engaged in explicit sexual behavior and lewd and lascivious behavior with the plaintiff, including but not limited to, defendant Perlitz requiring and then having plaintiff masturbate Defendant Perlitz," the complaint states. "The conduct of defendant Perlitz in engaging in the egregious and explicit sexual behavior described above was extreme and outrageous, beyond all possible bounds of decency, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community."



Perlitz was convicted in December 2010 of federal charges of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, and was sentenced to 19 years and 7 months in federal prison, according to the complaint.



Jean-Charles is represented by Steven J. Errante with Lynch, Traub, Keefe and Errante of New Haven.


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- Jesuit Schools Sued in #Haiti Child Sex Abuse Case
http://bit.ly/fi92Ko

- Lawsuit Filed Over Haiti Sex Abuse
Victim seeking $20 million from CT man who founded school, abused children
By Jennifer Sposato, NBC, April 19, 2011
http://bit.ly/hz238V

- Lawsuit filed over Haiti sex abuse
(AP) – PEIL 19, 2011
http://bit.ly/gBcny8

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Lawsuit Filed Over Haiti Sex Abuse
Victim seeking $20 million from CT man who founded school, abused children

By Jennifer Sposato, NBC, April 19, 2011
http://bit.ly/hz238V

A former Connecticut man now faces a $20 million lawsuit for sexually abusing children at a school he founded in Haiti.

One of Douglas Perlitz's accusers filed the lawsuit, which also names Fairfield University and the Society of Jesus as defendants.

Perlitz was sentenced in December for sexually abusing children at the Project Pierre Toussaint School, which he founded in 1997, while living in Fairfield County.

Prosecutors said Perlitz gave the children money, food, clothing and electronics and threatened to take everything away and expel them from the school if they told anyone about the abuse.

The scandal eventually led to the collapse of the school, forcing the children back into homelessness, prosecutors said.

The lawsuit maintains that Fairfield University and the Jesuit order were negligent in hiring and supervising Perlitz. It also accuses other defendants, some of them not named, of aiding Perlitz's efforts to cover up the abuse.

Alice Poltorick, a spokeswoman for the Society of Jesus, New England, called Perlitz's actions "deeply disturbing" and said the order would "work to address this claim diligently and with great sensitivity towards any individual who was harmed by Mr. Perlitz."

Officials at Fairfield University, which put its employees on the fundraising arm of the Haitian school, declined to comment, but said they hadn't yet seen the lawsuit.

A message left for an attorney for Perlitz wasn't immediately returned.

An attorney for the accuser, Mitchell Garabedian, said he represents 20 more children who will file complaints in the near future.




Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut

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APNewsBreak: Lawsuit filed over Haiti sex abuse

(AP) – 1 day ago
http://bit.ly/gBcny8


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A federal lawsuit seeking $20 million in damages was filed Monday against Fairfield University, the Society of Jesus and a Colorado man sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison for sexually abusing children at a school he founded in Haiti.

The lawsuit was filed by one of Douglas Perlitz's accusers. It maintains that Fairfield University, the Jesuit order and other defendants were negligent in hiring and supervising Perlitz in the work he did in Haiti. And it accuses other defendants, some of them not named, of aiding Perlitz's efforts to cover up the abuse.

Alice Poltorick, a spokeswoman for the Society of Jesus, New England, called Perlitz' actions "deeply disturbing" and said the order would "work to address this claim diligently and with great sensitivity towards any individual who was harmed by Mr. Perlitz."

Officials at Fairfield University, which put its employees on the fundraising arm of the Haitian school, declined to comment, saying they hadn't yet seen the lawsuit. A message left for an attorney for Perlitz wasn't immediately returned.

Mitchell Garabedian, an attorney for the accuser, said he represents 20 more children who will file complaints in the near future. He said Perlitz's supervisors, including a Jesuit priest who was Fairfield University's chaplain, were in Haiti and knew or should have known about the abuse. Poltorick said that priest has been restricted from any ministry pending the order's investigation into the matter.

Garabedian declined to comment on details beyond the lawsuit.

Perlitz was sentenced in December for sexually abusing children for more than a decade at the school. Some of his victims faced him in the courtroom and testified that he threatened to put them back on the streets if they did not submit to his advances.

Perlitz, 40, apologized to his victims while speaking in Creole before the sentence was handed down. He said he knew his crimes were horrible but pleaded for leniency nevertheless, asking the judge to consider the good work he did in the impoverished Caribbean nation.

Perlitz admitted in August that he engaged in illicit sexual conduct with eight children who attended the Project Pierre Toussaint School for homeless children in Cap-Haitien. Prosecutors said Perlitz gave the children money, food, clothing and electronics and threatened to take everything away and expel them from the program if they told anyone.

A judge said she believed there were at least 16 victims, based on testimony that authorities recorded on video by others who attended the school.

Now a resident of Eagle, Colo., Perlitz founded the Haiti school in 1997 when he lived in Fairfield County, Conn. Authorities said he began abusing the children, some as young as 11, in 1998 before the school was built. The abuse scandal led to the collapse of the school and its fundraising arm, the Haiti Fund, forcing the children back into homelessness on the streets, prosecutors
said.
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"La vraie reconstruction d'Haïti passe par des réformes en profondeur des structures de l'État pour restaurer la confiance, encourager les investisseurs et mettre le peuple au travail. Il faut finir avec cette approche d'un État paternaliste qui tout en refusant de créer le cadre approprié pour le développement des entreprises mendie des millions sur la scène internationale en exhibant la misère du peuple." Cyrus Sibert
Reconstruction d'Haïti : A quand les Réformes structurelles?
Haïti : La continuité du système colonial d'exploitation prend la forme de monopole au 21e Siècle.
WITHOUT REFORM, NO RETURN ON INVESTMENT IN HAITI (U.S. Senate report.)

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