|Fr. Paul Carrier, S.J.|
A $12 million settlement has been reached in the civil cases arising out of the sexual abuse by Douglas Perlitz on at least
23 abandoned Haitian street boys who were being taught, fed and clothed in a three-phase program funded by wealthy Fairfield and Westchester County Catholics and promoted by Fairfield University, the Knights of Malta and the Society of Jesus, New England. The settlement ended three months of negotiations between lawyers for both sides. The settlement money comes from insurance policies and will be spread out over a series of years.
It expected that a monitor will be appointed to dispense the money. Perlitz, who created the program he named Project Pierre Toussaint, is serving a 19-year, seven month federal prison sentence after pleading guilty to traveling overseas to engage in sex with a minor. His program, which began in 1997 with start up funds from the Knights of Malta, grew into a three phase program with an enclosed residential school that taught abandoned Haitian boys farming, carpentry, roofing, plumbing and other needed trades in one of the world's poorest nations. However, the program ended in 2009 when contributions dried up after the scandal became public.
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