The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Wednesday, August 18, 2010
CT Catholic predator pleads guilty; SNAP responds
Statement by Barbara Blaine, president and founder of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747)
This admission should cause every person who knows Perlitz to ask friends and family if he sexually violated them too. We seriously doubt that he only molested kids in Haiti, and we strongly suspect there are adults in the US who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes and who could help law enforcement bring more charges against Perlitz and hopefully keep him away from kids even longer. We hope others with information about his crimes will step forward, call police, protect others, get help, and start healing.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 22 years and have more than 9,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell)
Perlitz to plead guilty today
Published: 09:58 a.m., Wednesday, August 18, 2010
NEW HAVEN -- Douglas Perlitz, the Fairfield University graduate honored for creating a program in Haiti to help clothe, feed and school homeless boys, will plead guilty today in federal court to at least one charge involving the sexual abuse of a minor boy.
Perlitz, 40, formerly of Bridgeport and Fairfield, received funding from the Order of Malta, a Roman Catholic charity and collected donations from wealthy Fairfield and Westchester County Catholics to create Project Pierre Toussaint, a three-stage program in Cap-Haitien, Haiti, the country's second-largest city, to prepare abandoned boys for adult life.
He was arrested last September in Colorado on numerous charges of traveling from the U.S. to Cap-Haitien for the purpose of sexually abusing 18 minor boys.
Documents filed in federal court here indicate that Perlitz will plead to a charge of traveling overseas with the intent to engage in illicit sexual activity with a minor. That charge carries a maximum 30-year prison term and $250,000 fine followed by up to lifetime supervision by the U.S. Probation Department. The government could ask the judge to order Perlitz to pay restitution, which would enable the victims to receive physical and psychological treatment.
The guilty plea comes just a month after U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton dismissed a federal indictment against Perlitz in Connecticut after ruling she could see no evidence that a crime was committed in the state.
That decision set off a series of conferences which resulted in an arrest warrant being filed in federal court in Brooklyn charging that Perlitz traveled from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Haiti on at least two occasions with the intention of assaulting two minor boys.
It also led to Senior Special Agent Rod Khattabi, of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, being dispatched to Haiti last month, to arrange for those boys -- as well as other alleged victims -- to travel to the U.S., where they would testify before a grand jury in Brooklyn as well as a trial there and elsewhere. The government had information that Perlitz also traveled from New Jersey, Florida and Colorado to Haiti with the intention of assaulting minor boys.
Plea-bargain talks heated up once the prosecution decided to transfer Perlitz from the privately-run Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls, R.I., to the more centrally-located and crowded federal government holding center in Brooklyn. Twice, Arterton granted delays in Perlitz's transfer which originally was scheduled for July 23.
However, that indictment was dismissed last month when U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton ruled the government did not present enough evidence to show any crime was committed in Connecticut. As a result, the prosecution filed a warrant for Perlitz' arrest in Brooklyn, N.Y., based on their evidence that he traveled from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Haiti on at least two occasions.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests