American founder of Haitian orphanage sexually abused 4 boys, prosecutor says

Associated Press [New York NY]

January 26, 2024

By Colleen Slevin

An American founder of a Haitian orphanage forced four boys who lived in the institution to engage in sexual acts more than a decade ago, a prosecutor said Friday.

Michael Geilenfeld, 71, is a “dangerous, manipulative and cunning child sexual predator” who for decades has preyed on poor children while working abroad as a missionary, Jessica Urban, a prosecutor with the Justice Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, said during a detention hearing in Denver federal court.

Her statements marked the first time authorities have disclosed details of the investigation that led to Geilenfeld’s Jan. 18 indictment in Florida on charges of child sexual abuse. Urban, speaking via a video feed, offered the evidence to support her argument that Geilenfeld should not be released on bond as his case proceeds. She said authorities fear he or his supporters will try to intimidate victims to prevent them from testifying against him.

Magistrate Judge Scott Varholak delayed a decision, saying he needed more information about Geilenfeld’s living situation in Colorado, where he was arrested last weekend.