U.S. authorities are accusing Haitian orphanage founder Michael Geilenfeld of abusing and molesting children while on a trip to the country. The allegations are based on his tenure as the orphanage’s administrator from 2006 to 2010.
Investigations in Haiti and the United States have focused on 71-year-old Geilenfeld, who has a history of allegations of child abuse. He is currently facing judicial proceedings in the US about these claims, which federal investigators have stated he flew to the Caribbean to engage in criminal activity involving kids.
Before the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations, Michael Geilenfeld, 71, had sued a Maine activist for accusing him of molesting minors in Haiti. Geilenfeld had characterized the accusations as “vile.” The indictment stated that the activist had traveled from Miami to Haiti with the intent to engage in any unlawful conduct with a person under the age of 18.
After his arrest in Colorado, Geilenfeld was scheduled to appear in a Denver detention court. According to officials, he will be transported to Miami, where the case started.
Paul Kendrick, an activist based in North Carolina, charged Geilenfeld of operating as a serial pedophile.
Geilenfeld had founded the St. Joseph’s Home for Boys in 1985 in Port-au-Prince, where Kendrick had spoken to men who asserted to have been abused by Geilenfeld when they were boys.
In response, Geilenfeld and Hearts with Haiti sued Kendrick. A federal civil action was filed in Maine by Geilenfeld and the charity, claiming that Kendrick was responsible for Geilenfeld’s 237-day incarceration in Haiti, harm to his reputation, and the depletion of millions in donations.
The case was settled when the activist’s insurance company paid three million dollars to Hearts with Haiti in 2019. Geilenfeld, however, received no payment.
The grand jury cited Geilenfeld’s orphanage conduct from November 2006 to December 2010.
The maximum prison penalty for traveling abroad for unlawful sexual activity is 30 years.
Haitian authorities had long investigated sex assault charges involving Geilenfeld, who was apprehended in 2014 but freed a year later when his case was dismissed. The alleged victims appealed, but the case has yet to be tried.