Press Conference

One Table, Many Partners
May 31, 2012

Haiti: "One Table, Many Partners" Conference, Focus on the Protection of Children from Sexual Abuse


Catholic Church Hosts Haiti Conference; Abuse Victims and Child Protection Advocates Respond to the Sexual Abuse of 22 Haitian Children by U.S. Citizen, Douglas Perlitz, and the Failure of Catholic Individuals, Groups and Organizations, Including Fairfield University, The New England Jesuits, The Order of Malta and the Haiti Fund, Inc., to Protect the Children.

At a Washington, D.C. Press Conference, Haitian Journalist, Cyrus Sibert will describe the pain, suffering and abandonment of 22 child sexual abuse victims in Haiti. Boston Attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, will discuss the civil complaints filed in Federal Court in CT on behalf of these 22 sexual abuse victims.

Child protection organizations demand that Catholic church mission groups protect innocent children in Haiti

Groups want Haiti conference attendees to implement written child protection policies

Catholic Missionary groups must be held accountable for the protection of children in Haiti

"If You See Something, Say Something: Report Child Abuse"

WHAT: Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk press conference, clergy sexual abuse victims and advocates will urge:

-- Haiti conference attendees to implement written child protection and code of behavior policies,

systems and procedures at their schools, hospitals, orphanages and other mission sites in Haiti.

-- Anyone who has information or suspicions about child sexual abuse in Haiti to contact ICE/Homeland Security investigators.

-- Employees and volunteers of NGOs in Haiti to familiarize themselves with the 2003 PROTECT ACT.



-- Haiti conference attendees to review the criminal case, United States v. Douglas Perlitz.

WHEN: Friday, June 1, 2012 at 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: On the sidewalk outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (across from Catholic University), 400 Michigan Avenue, Northeast, Washington, D.C. 20017.

WHO: At least six men and women who are victims of clergy sexual abuse crimes or advocates for abuse victims, including Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston Attorney who is an internationally recognized advocate for abuse victims, Cyrus Sibert, a Haitian journalist who exposed the sexual abuse of children at Project Pierre Toussaint in Haiti, as well as leaders of several child advocacy organizations.

WHY: Cyrus Sibert, a Haitian journalist and radio commentator first began publishing reports about the sexual abuse of children at Project Pierre Toussaint in late 2007. Sibert and the abuse victims were immediately called liars by members of the Catholic organizations who supervised the school and were threatened and intimidated by NGO and business leaders in the Cap Haitian community. Sibert will tell how these sexually abused, homeless street children were rejected and abandoned by the same Catholic individuals, organizations and institutions in the United States that had previously boasted and taken great pride in their association with Project Pierre Toussaint.

Boston Attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, wilI discuss 21 civil lawsuits previously filed in Federal Court in CT on behalf of 22 Haitian boys who were sexually abused by a U.S. citizen, Douglas Perlitz, while Perlitz was director of Project Pierre Toussaint in Cap Haitian, Haiti. The discovery process is ongoing in these lawsuits which name Perlitz and Perlitz's supervisors as defendants.

Perlitz, after pleading guilty in federal criminal court in CT in December 2010, is now serving a 19 year and 7 month sentence in a federal prison in Texas.

Project Pierre Toussaint was founded, funded and supported by many Catholic organizations, including the Order of Malta, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, the Knights of Columbus, Fairfield University,the New England Society of Jesus and the Haiti Fund, Inc., a Connecticut based non-profit whose Chairman, Jesuit priest, Rev. Paul Carrier, S.J., was the long time Director of Campus Ministry at Fairfield University.

It is our firm belief that a presentation and discussion of the Perlitz case will provide conference attendees withthe most comprehensive learning experience and inside look at the ways and means by which these individuals and institutions failed to protect innocent children at their mission in Haiti due to a lack of checks and balances, systems, procedures and policies designed to protect children from sexual abuse. This landmark criminal case established legal and law enforcement precedents by which a U.S. citizen will be prosecuted in U.S. Federal Court for crimes committed against children, no matter in the world the crimes are committed.

In addition, the information contained in the precedent setting civil lawsuits filed by Attorney Mitchell Garabedian on behalf of 22 boys who were sexually abused by Perlitz is intended to awaken and educate Haiti Conference attendees as to how Perlitz's supervisors failed to protect innocent and vulnerable Haitian children from repeated incidents of sexual abuse for many years. It is painfully obvious that safeguards to protect children, including policies, systems and procedures, were not in place.








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