CaribWorldNews, NEW HAVEN, CT, Thurs. Aug. 19, 2010: The creator of Project Pierre Toussaint, Douglas Perlitz, yesterday admitted in a Connecticut court to having sex with an underage student in the poverty stricken country of Haiti.
Perlitz, 40, pleaded guilty to one count of traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, while admitting that he had sex with one boy. He, however, opted not to challenge the government`s assertion that he had sex with as many as eight.
Perlitz acknowledged traveling from JFK International Airport in 2006 so he could have sex with a minor. The guilty plea comes one month after the case was thrown out by a district judge. Judge Janet Bond Arterton dismissed a federal indictment against Perlitz in Connecticut, saying she could see no evidence that a crime had been committed in the state, a requirement of the statute under which Perlitz had been charged.
But soon after an arrest warrant was filed in federal court in New York, charging that Perlitz traveled from JFK to Haiti twice, with the purpose of engaging in sex with minors.
Perlitz is set to be sentenced on Dec. 21st and faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of as much as $250,000.
The Colorado man formed Project Pierre Toussaint in Cap-Haitien in 1997, the Caribbean country`s second-largest city, to help feed, clothe and school homeless boys. He attracted million of dollars in donations from Connecticut Catholics and a non-profit organization titled the Haiti Fund was set up to oversee fundraising.
But prosecutors claimed Perlitz `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 and other items.`