Freeport man seeks new trial in alleged Haiti abuse case

Bangor Daily News

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted Aug. 25, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine — A Freeport man whom a jury last month found was reckless and negligent in publicly accusing a former Catholic brother of molesting children has filed a motion for a new trial.

Paul Kendrick claims in the motion that Maine law does not entitle Michael Geilenfeld to damages for the time Geilenfeld was jailed in Haiti.

The jury awarded Geilenfeld and an affiliated nonprofit, Hearts with Haiti, $14.5 million in damages for harm to his and the organization’s reputation and for direct fundraising losses the jury found were attributable to a scandal prompted by Paul Kendrick’s allegations from 2011 through this year.

The jury’s decision included $2.5 million in damages on claims Kendrick was negligent and reckless in his statements about Hearts with Haiti. The jury awarded Geilenfeld $7 million on similar claims.

Another $5 million was awarded to Hearts with Haiti based on interference with its business, or fundraising losses.

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