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US Founder of Haiti School Pleads Guilty in Haiti Sex Abuse Case

Justice authorities in (the northeastern U.S. state of) Connecticut say the American founder of a school for street children in Haiti has admitted to engaging in illicit sexual conduct with eight youngsters in that country.

Officials Wednesday said Douglas Perlitz, 40, pleaded guilty to one count of traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.  They say Perlitz made the admission as part of a plea deal.

Officials said that at various times between 2001 and 2008, Perlitz traveled from U.S. airports to Haiti and engaged in sexual conduct with boys who attended Project Pierre Toussaint, a school in Cap-Haitien.

The officials said he abused his position of authority to entice and persuade the minors to comply by providing them with the promise of food, shelter and other benefits that included cash, clothing and other items.

The former Connecticut resident faces a 30-year prison sentence and fine of up to $250,000 when sentenced in December.  He has been in custody since his arrest in the western state of Colorado in September of last year.

Haiti is the Western Hemisphere's poorest country.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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