Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Plea for Colo. man accused of Haiti school abuse

The Associated Press

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Colorado man charged with sexually abusing boys at a school he founded for street children in Haiti pleaded not guilty Tuesday to new charges that raise the number of alleged victims to 18.

Authorities accuse Douglas Perlitz of enticing children at the Project Pierre Toussaint school in Cap-Haitien into sex acts by promising them food, shelter, cash, cell phones, electronics and shoes. They say he also withheld benefits and threatened to expel the boys if they refused his wishes.

Perlitz pleaded not guilty in federal court in New Haven to nine counts of traveling outside the United States with the intent to engage in sexual conduct with minors and 10 counts of engaging in sexual conduct in foreign places with minors.

The 39-year-old Perlitz, of Eagle, Colo., was charged last year with sexually abusing nine boys. Prosecutors doubled the number of alleged victims with a new indictment announced last week.

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