The government has filed a pretrial motion in its case against Douglas Perlitz ’92, who has been indicted on 10 charges involving sexual abuse of children in a foreign country. The petition argues that due to the nature of the violent sexual acts against children, the length of time Perlitz allegedly abused them, the level of control he held over individuals in Haiti, his access to millions of donated money and his extensive travel over the past years, that Perlitz should be detained until his trial.
The motion also says that all nine children who are identified as victims in the indictment have stated their willingness to travel to the US to testify. Some of the children are now over the age of 18, but at the time of abuse, they were still minors. The government has also obtained video-taped statements of the boys.
The government further argues that Perlitz is a danger to the community with the allegations of abusing vulnerable children. Even after the allegations publically surfaced in 2007, Perlitz continued to return to Haiti and have boys sleep in his room. After he was directed by the Haiti Fund not to return, he continued to travel to the Dominican Republic to see “his kids” as recently as March 2009, according to statements he made to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He also admitted to being in daily contact with individuals in Haiti and the day before his arrest, he received 17 phone calls from Haiti.
Perlitz also told investigators that he “lost his father” when he was only 24 years old. He continued that “molestation would be tough” but that “victims should just get over it.” He told the ICE agent that he “got over” his father’s death and that the abuse victims “need to move on and get over it.” He also admitted to the agent that he permitted children to stay overnight in his bedroom, but denied any sexual contact.
The government also sees Perlitz as a flight risk and has seized his passports, but it still considers Perlitz a threat to leave. The government argued that for a man with a limited salary, he has done extensive traveling. Perlitz admitted to the special agent investigating the case that he has only $1,000 to his name. Because of this admission, the government will be requesting a Curcio hearing to determine who is paying for his legal fees.
Perlitz will be arraigned tomorrow, Oct. 8 at 2 p.m. Two attorneys from a New Haven firm have filed notices of appearance for Perlitz. William F. Dow III and David T. Grudberg, both partners in the law office of Jacobs, Grudberg, Belt, Dow & Katz. Dow has previously represented the governor of Connecticut and was named the top attorney in Connecticut by his peers in 2008.