Fairfield University alumnus Douglas Perlitz was sentenced to 19 years seven months today by a New Haven federal judge for sexually abusing minors in Haiti.
The 235 months Perlitz will serve in prison is the maximum desired by the prosecution, and will include 10 years of probation. Perlitz, an honorary commencement speaker, had been facing anywhere from eight to nineteen years in prison after pleading guilty on August 18, 2010 for one count of traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct to Haiti.
What started as a story of the embodiment of Jesuit ideals and Christian charity ended in catastrophe today with the sentencing of Perlitz. Perlitz, who founded Project Pierre Touissant (PPT) in 1997, ran the project until the Haitian Fund board of directors removed him after allegations of sexual assault surfaced in 2008. PPT took in children from the streets of Haiti and provided them with meals, sports activity, basic classroom instruction and access to running water for bathing.
The Haiti Fund was formed to aid in fundraising and overseeing the operations of PPT in 1999. Initiated by Rev. Paul Carrier, S.J.,
Fairfield University employees and Fairfield and Westchester County residents, the Haiti Fund began actively fundraising in the community as well as on the Fairfield University campus.
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