Haiti Action Alert: Demand Maximum Sentence for Pedophile

haiti protestFolks, so much is going on right now for our beloved Haiti – imported cholera killing thousands, no relief for the 1.7 million people still homeless from the January earthquake, hundreds of charities fraudulently collecting upwards to $1.4 billion to help earthquake victims while their dying from drinking unclean water 11 months later, and now the November 28 unfair elections without an electorate.

I know a lot is going on. But we must not forget that the Douglas Perlitz pedophile case – Docket No. 3:09CR207 (JBA) - is up for sentencing on Dec. 21, 2010 in New Haven , CT.

Below is a sample Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN) letter you may personalized or use as is, to urge Judge Arterton to sentence Douglas Perlitz to the maximum possible sentence, to fine him the full $250,000 allowable fine, as well as to order Perlitz to pay the maximum restitution allowable by law in favor of his Haiti victims.

In one essay on this case, I detailed, for the Ezili HLLNetwork, that:

“In pleading guilty, Douglas Perltiz admitted that, on various dates between 2001 and 2008, he traveled from the United States to Haiti and engaged in illicit sexual conduct with at least eight minor victims of Haiti. Sentencing is scheduled for December 21, 2010, at which time Douglas Perlitz faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years, a fine of up to $250,000 as well as restitution to his victims. In court, Douglas Perlitz did not dispute lead counsel for the prosecuting team, Assistant U.S. Attorney Krishna Patel’s claim that she had evidence Douglas Perlitz engaged in sex with at least eight underage boys and as many as 13. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Douglas Perlitz faces anywhere from eight years and one month in prison to 19 years and seven months in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 21 by Judge Janet Bond Arterton. Federal law provides no parole. Whatever sentence Perlitz gets will be the amount of time he serves, minus 54 days granted every year for good behavior. Also, when Perlitz is released from prison, he must register as a sex offender, as well as spend anywhere from five years to the rest of his life being supervised by the US. Probation Department. Should he commit any crime while on supervision, he could be sent back to prison for another five years.” (Douglas Perlitz admits sexually abusing homeless Haiti boys by Ezili Dantò of HLLN .)

HLLN has worked diligently to give international voice to these children of Haiti so that Mr. Perlitz’s supporters were not the ones filling in the vacuum in the US court, demeaning the victims, labeling them liars and opportunists. We believe our efforts assisted, in some ways, in Mr. Perlitz eventually pleading guilty, even after the case had been dismissed in Connecticut, perhaps so he would not face the large Haitian community in Brooklyn, New York where a warrant for his arrest is issued and he was re-indicted.

You will remember that HLLN, with the indispensable assistance of Lakou New York, brought up a bus of Haitians from New York to stand in the courtroom, filled with Mr. Perlitz supporters, to say no to his release on bond. We also conducted an awareness raising campaign and had the Ezili Network write to Judge Margolis to ask he not be released on bond. Moreover, we sent out action alerts, from time to time, asking those interested in helping meet the basic needs of these abused children, who now were back on the streets, to contact Cyrus Sibert directly for guidance on how to donate help. (See, Letter-writing campaign aims to keep Perlitz jailed By Michael P. Mayko, Connecticut Post, Oct. 14, 2009 ; Help Haiti’s children – Demand that accused US pedophile, Doug Perlitz, not be set free on bond ; Perlitz Court Date Moved, Groups Raise Awareness of Perlitz, O’Brien Cases by Tom Cleary, Fairfield Mirror, Oct. 15, 2009, The Collar of Impunity: Sexual abuse of Haiti children by Priests, Charity Workers, http://bit.ly/879eXs and UN Peacekeepers and Humanitarian Aid Workers raping, molesting and abusing Haitian children.)

In addition, HLLN has kept the concerned Haiti public and concerned world citizens updated on the course of the case as it went through the US court system. The Ezili Network has acted as a sort of watcher – veyo yo – in the traditional indigenous Haitian sense, to be sure the powerless Haiti street children had an international voice and that the same standards are used for our children as every other victim of sexual abuse. When a few months ago, a U.S. newspaper published pictures of the children victims in their paper, we protested the double standard with a letter to the journalist. Victims in the US are protected and shielded from such exposure.

We have had nothing but praises for the hard work of the Federal prosecutors and investigators trying this case and have often so written. (Douglas Perlitz admits sexually abusing homeless Haiti boys) But when, on November 21st, it was reported that the Perlitz lawyers were attempting to postpone the December 21st sentencing because of the cholera outbreak and demonstrations against the United Nations in Cap Haitian, we wrote a public letter, objecting to both the prosecutors and Perlitz lawyers characterizing of all the mourning Haiti demonstrators and protesters legitimately accusing the United Nations of importing cholera as “insurgents.” Haitians have the human right to self-defense and to protest when a foreign substance imported, as the CDC says from South Asia, is killing their children and families, en mass. This has been part of the public and non-confidential work Ezili’s HLLN has done on this case.

We write now to urge that you write to the Honorable Janet Bond Arterton at the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut in New Haven, USA, and ask the judge Arterton to sentence Douglas Perlitz to the maximum years allowable under the law on December 21, 2010 and also to request that if you are in the East Coast, USA, you come to the court sentencing to show your solidarity with the children. Haiti has a mostly non-functioning government. We are under UN occupation. But even though disenfranchised Haitians have no government to stand for them in such cases, concerned world citizens and Haitians living abroad, may come to the sentencing on behalf of the people of Haiti to stand for Haiti, for justice, for restitution.

The Douglas Perlitz sentencing is set for December 21, 2010. We may not get another moment, as we are working over-capacity right now, to raise this awareness again before that date. So, please, if you are in the East Coast area and can make it to court, come join the HLLN delegation and show your solidarity with the powerless children of Haiti. These children will not know who you are, as they mostly don’t know us and all the work HLLN has done to push their case forward to justice. We do this work in true solidarity as we recognize our freedom and humanity depends on it. But if you sign and mail or fax a letter (a sample you may personalized or use as is, copied below) to the judge; if you can be present in court, these Haitians with little voice and no power will know you are a Haitian or decent world citizen who cares about the injustice done to Haiti’s defenseless people in the name of doing good works in Haiti.

We recommend you arrive at 9 am to be seated in the court on December 21, 2010 at 141 Church Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06510. See contact info below and asample letter for writing to Honorable Janet Bond Arterton, United States District Judge, to ask Judge Arterton to sentence Douglas Perlitz to the maximum sentence in jail.

Although at this point in time, it looks like the December 21, 2010 sentencing date will go forward, to be sure, if you are considering attending, please check directly with the court the day before to assure yourself the sentencing date has not been postponed.

Ezili DantoAlso, for Haitians please listen to the Kreyòl interview for some important information.

Thank you very much for standing up for justice for Haitians.

Ezili Dantò

Human Rights lawyer Ezili Dantò is dedicated to correcting the media lies and colonial narratives about Haiti. A writer, performance poet and lawyer, Ezili Dantò is founder and president of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN). For updates, join the Ezili HLLN’s Listserve. Learn more at the website at: http://www.ezilidanto.com

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