A US citizen who sexually abused the Haitian children he was supposedly helping in the stricken Caribbean nation was sentenced Tuesday by a Connecticut court to nearly 20 years in prison.
Douglas Perlitz, 40, was sentenced in New Haven to 235 months of prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release, for sexually abusing at least eight children during a decade in Haiti, the federal prosecutor’s office in Connecticut said.
Perlitz had pleaded guilty to one count of traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.
He founded a school for boys called Project Pierre Toussaint in 1997 in the town of Cap-Haitien.
Most of the pupils were street children and at the school they were fed, given classroom lessons, and provided with running water and sports activities — a relatively high standard of living in one of the world’s poorest countries.
However Perlitz simultaneously “abused his position of authority to entice and persuade the minors to comply with the sex acts by providing the promise of food and shelter and other benefits, including cash, cell phones, electronics, shoes, clothes,” the prosecutor’s office said.
David Fein, US attorney for Connecticut, said he was pleased with the long sentence.
“It will protect the public from a serial child predator for years to come,” he said in a statement.
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