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Defamation suit over Haiti sex abuse claim settled

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PORTLAND, Maine — A defamation lawsuit against an activist who accused an orphanage founder in Haiti of being a serial pedophile has been settled, ending a lawsuit that has dragged on for six years, an attorney said.

Paul Kendrick’s insurance companies agreed to pay $3 million to Hearts With Haiti, but nothing to orphanage founder Michael Geilenfeld, attorney Mark Randall, who represents Kendrick, told The Associated Press. Hearts With Haiti and Geilenfeld dropped their defamation claims, he said.

The settlement ends a case that has dragged on since 2013. Kendrick said the effort was worth it because he believes children are now safer.

Kendrick, who stands by his claims against Geilenfeld, said he’s satisfied because the lawsuit aired the accusations and because Geilenfeld gets nothing from the settlement. The money will be used by the charity to help disabled children in Haiti, he said.

“It does not mean the brave victims coming forward have done so in vain,” Kendrick said. “The testimonies in evidence against Geilenfeld belong in a criminal investigation.”

Attorneys who represented Hearts With Haiti and Geilenfeld didn’t immediately return calls and emails seeking comment. The whereabouts of Geilenfeld, a U.S. citizen, are unknown. The former Catholic brother previously testified that the abuse allegations were “vicious, vile lies.”

Kendrick said he’s spoken to 16 young men who have said Geilenfeld abused them in Port-au-Prince years ago, when they were boys. Geilenfeld founded the St. Joseph’s Home for Boys in Port-Au-Prince in 1985.

North Carolina-based Hearts with Haiti and Geilenfeld contended Kendrick ruined Geilenfeld’s reputation and cost the charity millions with an email campaign that raised unsubstantiated claims. Geilenfeld also blamed Kendrick’s campaign for his 237-day imprisonment in Haiti.

In 2015, a federal jury awarded $14.5 million to Geilenfeld and Hearts with Haiti, despite testimony from seven men who said they were sexually abused as boys. The case was refiled in state court after a U.S. appeals court ruled that a federal courtroom in Maine was the wrong jurisdiction.

Kendrick, of Freeport, Maine, became an outspoken voice during the New England church abuse scandal and co-founded the Maine chapter of the Voice of the Faithful. He said he began targeting Geilenfeld after hearing from men who said they’d been victimized by him in Haiti.

If the lawsuit had gone before another jury, Kendrick said there would have been more victims willing to testify.

Randall said Geilenfeld’s willingness to drop the defamation claim paved the way to the settlement and the lawsuit being withdrawn. He said it’s a victory for the children who benefit from the settlement — and for Kendrick because claims of wrongdoing have been dropped.

“The end result is that children are safer,” he said. The victim’s allegations are now in the hands of law enforcement officials, he said.

___

This headline has been corrected to show the lawsuit alleged defamation, not sexual abuse.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Haiti news, nouvelles d’Haïti, actualité 7/7, diaspora, politique, insécurité, élections, économie et bien plus…

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Nouvelles d’Haïti – Haiti News | 7/7 sur Haitilibre.com

Haïti - Actualité : Zapping…
Haïti – Actualité : Zapping…
21/11/2019 10:24:42
Répression politique à Miragoâne ? – Crise : 1.5 milliards de dollars de pertes pour le pays – Appel de la Sénatrice Étienne – La Congressiste Nita Lowey préoccupée – Défécation à l’air libre, Haïti en tête de la Région – Inondations à Cap-Haïtien…
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Haïti - FLASH : Message d’Odette Fombrun (102 ans), aux fossoyeurs de la Patrie
Haïti – FLASH : Message d’Odette Fombrun (102 ans), aux fossoyeurs de la Patrie
21/11/2019 10:00:46
Sacrée « Trésor national vivant » en 2009, l’ex enseignante haïtienne et activiste féministe très connue et respectée, Odette Roy Fombrun, s’insurge contre les destructions au pays et crie « Halte aux fossoyeurs de la Patrie…
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Haïti - Diaspora : L’haitiano-canadienne Fabienne Colas nommée l’une des femmes les plus influentes au Canada
Haïti – Diaspora : L’haitiano-canadienne Fabienne Colas nommée l’une des femmes les plus influentes au Canada
21/11/2019 09:17:56
La Fondation Fabienne Colas est fière d’annoncer que sa Présidente fondatrice, l’haïtiano-canadienne Fabienne Colas, a été nommée dans le Top 100 des Femmes les plus Influentes au Canada…
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Haïti - Politique : Le Gouvernement dénonce les actes ide vandalisme contre des écoles, des églises
Haïti – Politique : Le Gouvernement dénonce les actes ide vandalisme contre des écoles, des églises
21/11/2019 08:53:19
Mercredi, Eddy Jackson Alexis le Secrétaire d’État à la Communication a dénoncé avec la plus grande vigueur les actes de vandalisme choquants perpétrés ces derniers jours…
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Haïti - FLASH : Les États Unis soutiennent Moïse, l’opposition reste sur ses positions
Haïti – FLASH : Les États Unis soutiennent Moïse, l’opposition reste sur ses positions
21/11/2019 08:20:03
Mercredi l’Ambassadrice des État-Unis auprès de Nations Unies Kelly Dawn Knight Craft à la tête d’une délégation est arrivée en Haïti pour une visite de quelques heures. Une visite qualifiée d’ingérence par l’opposition…
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Haïti - Actualité : Zapping...
Haïti – Actualité : Zapping…
20/11/2019 10:05:51
5 grenades offensives retrouvées à la DGI – Arrestation d’un faux policier à Delmas – Camion de boissons, pillé et incendié – VISAS Brésil et Chili – Vertières : Manif et drapeaux noir et rouge – Le Japon promet une nouvelle aide alimentaire…
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Haïti - Humanitaire : Taïwan va augmenter son aide alimentaire en Haïti
Haïti – Humanitaire : Taïwan va augmenter son aide alimentaire en Haïti
20/11/2019 09:28:02
Alexander Yui, le Directeur Général du Département des affaires de l’Amérique latine et des Caraïbes du Ministère des Affaires Étrangères (MOFA) de Taïwan (République de Chine) a déclaré…
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Haitian National Team Veteran Mechack Jérôme to Return to El Paso Locomotive FC for 2020 – KFOX El Paso

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Haitian National Team Veteran Mechack Jérôme to Return to El Paso Locomotive FC for 2020  KFOX El Paso

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Barbados Prime Minister Demands Answers from Electricity Company after Two Days of Island-wide Power Cuts

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Prime Minister Mia Mottley

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Tuesday November 19, 2019 Prime Minister Mia Mottley today described as
“unacceptable and embarrassing”, island-wide power outages that have
affected Barbados over the last two days, even as she sought to assure that
critical operations in the country were functioning normally.

The
island’s sole electricity provider, the Barbados Light & Power (BL&P),
blamed the outages that have affected customers all across the country on
contaminated fuel compounded by aging generator equipment.

The power
cuts, which also triggered water outages, forced the early closure of schools
and some businesses yesterday. Today, the Ministry of Education announced all
public schools would be closed, as the situation persisted into a second day.

“With
respect to the hospital, the airport, the seaport, the prison and all of the
other critical institutions, I can inform the country that all of our power
generation capacity is working and that we will ensure that we stick to
normalcy as close as possible,” Mottley said earlier today.

“I
have already asked the management of the Light & Power, to ensure as a
matter of urgency, that the Chairman of BL&P, the Chairman of Emera
[BL&P’s parent company] in Barbados Light & Power, be available to meet
with me this evening, because this is an unacceptable situation,” she
informed, adding that she could not understand how a country could have all of
its generating capacity down at the same time.

“It is
unacceptable and embarrassing, but in life we don’t get to choose the
circumstances or the hand that we play. Sometimes we get the hand and we have,
therefore, to rise to the occasion and do what is necessary….Rest assured
that the Government is taking its own independent advice in these
matters.”

At the same
time, the Prime Minister urged Barbadians not to point fingers or complain.

“We
have more than enough time to determine blame, to determine responsibility and
to determine all of the other things that are going through people’s
heads,” she said.

“Now
is the time for Barbadians to be calm and to ensure that if you don’t need to
be on the road, do not go on the road; to ensure that if you have family who
may be living alone, that you check on them and make sure that they are well.
The Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs has already been speaking
to get that message across the country to ensure that any critical tasks that
have to be done, that we go about them seamlessly, knowing full well that we
are going to resolve this issue.”

Mottley
assured that in the meantime, the country is safe.

“Rest
assured that we are doing all that we can to make sure that while we wait for
BL&P to resolve this issue, that we will do our part to make sure that
Barbadians can continue to go as much as possible about their business, and
where that it is not possible, that they remain safe and comfortable,” she
said.

Speaking to
members of the media via conference call yesterday, Managing Director of the
BL&P Roger Blackman said the problem was mainly due to contamination in the
imported fuel.

Without identifying the contaminant that was found in the fuel, Blackman
further explained that of the samples tested from the last three shipments, two
of them “tested positive for contaminants”.

He explained that there was still “quite a bit of fuel in the system
now” that will be used up, adding that the shipment that is currently on island
to be used is free of contamination.

“That will dilute what we currently have in the system. We have been
managing this for the last couple weeks and what we will be doing is having our
teams in place to do the repairs very quickly and get the units back on when
they are affected. We do have things in place to address the issues when they
come up,” said Blackman, who was unable to guarantee there would be no more
blackouts as a result of contaminated fuel.

He said testing was now being conducted on fuel samples going back as
far as August to see if this contaminant that has been detected would have been
present at that time.

Blackman said the BL&P was working with the island’s fuel supplier, the Barbados National Oil Company Ltd (BNOCL), to put measures in place to resolve the issue over the short and medium-term.

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