Judge dismisses Haitian sex-abuse case against honored Fairfield U. grad
In a ruling that stunned federal prosecutors, a federal judge Wednesday dismissed the international sexual abuse indictment against honored Fairfield University graduate and commencement speaker Douglas Perlitz after determining that no criminal acts occurred in Connecticut and, as a result, the case could not be tried in the state.
However, U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton noted that her 25-page ruling does not deter the government from seeking an indictment against Perlitz in another district.
The prosecution could charge Perlitz in Florida, Colorado and New York -- all places where he boarded a plane to fly to Haiti. There, he had established a charity to feed, school and clothe homeless boys. The indictment alleges that Perlitz had sexually abused 18 of the boys.
Much of the financial support for Perlitz's charity had been raised from the Fairfield U. community and residents throughout Fairfield County.
While the U.S. Attorney's office withheld immediate comment while the decision is reviewed, it is anticipated that the government either will appeal or take the case to another district.
But for now, with no criminal charges pending against him, Perlitz, 30, a former Fairfield resident who now lives in Colorado, could be released from the Wyatt Detention Center in Rhode Island where he has been jailed since September.