US Citizen Charged With Abusing 18 Haitian Boys

February 2nd 2009

Additional charges have been leveled against an American national once indicted for abusing Haitian boys he was supposed to be helping.

Douglas Perlitz, 39, founded and operated a home and school for needy children in Haiti, known as Project Pierre Toussaint. But he was arrested in his home in Colorado in September 2009 after a federal grand jury indicted him on 10 counts related to the abuse of nine boys over a period of 10 years.

Prosecutors on Thursday pushed an additional nine counts against Perlitz, bringing the number of his abuse victims to a total of 18.

The American national, who lived in Haiti for years, is accused of enticing the boys into sexual acts with promises of food and shelter, and with gifts, such as cell phones and cash. According to the new indictment in Federal District Court in Connecticut, Perlitz offered money to one of the boys and assured him that he would not be expelled from school even if he failed his classes.

He allegedly gave another boy and his family money and other benefits, and in another case, offered a television, shoes, clothes and meals to another boy, demanding sexual acts and silence in return. Those who refused to cooperate with Perlitz were denied benefits, the indictment added.

Douglas Perlitz, scheduled to appear in federal court in New Haven on Tuesday, would face a maximum of 30 years in prison and fine of $2.5 million if convicted.
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