Accused pedophile Doug Perlitz, 39, remained in jail Friday while U.S. attorneys considered new charges against him. Connecticut U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton threw out the old case on Wednesday on technical grounds. She gave U.S. attorneys until July 23 to refile.
Perlitz, a 1992 Fairfield University graduate, raised $2 million in funds, mainly from Fairfield County residents, to support Project Pierre Toussaint, a charity school based in Cap-Haitien, Haiti. He is accused of molesting 20 children at the school from 1998 to 2008.
"We must make sure the children who have come forth and suffered so much don't suffer at all from this small setback," said Haitian-American lawyer and advocate Ezili Danto, a Stamford resident, adding that she hopes the case will increase awareness of the abuses in Haiti and push others to join "in bringing justice for our molested children."
William F. Dow III, Perlitzs attorney, said that Perlitz maintains his innocence and would plead not guilty to new charges, according to a motion filed by Dow.
Atherton dismissed the initial 24-count indictment, for traveling outside of the United States to engage in sexual conduct with persons under the age of 18, on jurisdictional grounds. She ruled that the indictment was invalid because Perlitz did not travel from Connecticut. The U.S. attorneys argued that Perlitz had made his flight plans in Connecticut, but Atherton said that was not enough for the jurisdiction to fall within the state.
U.S. Attorney David Fein said the new indictment will likely be filed in New York.
Perlitz was the 2002 commencement speaker at Fairfield University and raised close to $600,000 during on-campus religious services, according to a review the school conducted on its involvement in the case. The university said that it is not sure how $120,500 of those funds were spent.
Attorneys allege that Perlitz used the money raised to bribe children into engaging in sexual acts with him, buying them snacks, toys and alcohol. The trial was expected to begin in October. U.S. attorneys are moving their trial team to New York and hope there will be little delay in continuing the case.
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