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Jesuit Schools Sued in Child Sex Case

HARTFORD (CN) - A man who says he was sexually abused at a school for street children in Haiti seeks $110 million in damages from Fairfield University, the Jesuit order, and former Connecticut resident Douglas Perlitz, who is serving 19 years in prison for sexually abusing children at Project Pierre Toussaint, in Cap-Haitien.

Joseph Jean-Charles, one of Perlitz's accusers, sued the defendants, which include The Haiti Fund and a priest, Fr. Paul Carrier, who allegedly hired and supervised Perlitz.

Jean-Charles claims Fairfield University - a Jesuit school - the Society of Jesus of New England and 12 John Does were negligent in hiring Perlitz to run the school and home, and helped him cover up the sexual abuse.

Perlitz held a position of trust so that the children he oversaw "would have confidence that the conduct defendant Perlitz engaged in was to further the best interests of the minor boys," according to the 23-page complaint.

"In approximately 2006, when the plaintiff was approximately 15 years old, defendant Perlitz engaged in explicit sexual behavior and lewd and lascivious behavior with the plaintiff, including but not limited to, defendant Perlitz requiring and then having plaintiff masturbate Defendant Perlitz," the complaint states. "The conduct of defendant Perlitz in engaging in the egregious and explicit sexual behavior described above was extreme and outrageous, beyond all possible bounds of decency, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community."

Perlitz was convicted in December 2010 of federal charges of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, and was sentenced to 19 years and 7 months in federal prison, according to the complaint.

Jean-Charles is represented by Steven J. Errante with Lynch, Traub, Keefe and Errante of New Haven.

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