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Haitian justice authorities are making plans for a new criminal trial against a U.S. citizen who has been accused of physically and sexually abusing boys in an orphanage that he has run for decades in the impoverished Caribbean country, a top government official and lawyers said Monday.
Michael Geilenfeld, an Iowa native and former brother with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity group, opened the St. Joseph’s Home for Boys in the Haitian capital in 1985. He was arrested in September but freed last month when a Haitian judge dismissed the case following a brief trial that was not attended by the five accusers, now adults.
Justice Minister Pierre- Richard Casimir told The Associated Press that an appeal filed by lawyers for the alleged victims, allowing the case to be re-examined, has been granted. Without disclosing specifics, he said Monday the prosecutor “didn’t do the case correctly” and has since been sanctioned.
Geilenfeld’s charity includes three homes, a guest house for missionaries and a dance troupe that has toured the U.S. and Canada to promote his organization.