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Haitian Students Sue Fairfield

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File photo of a gavel (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo of a gavel (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN, Associated Press

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ Seventeen former Haitian street children are suing Fairfield University in Connecticut, the Society of Jesus and others alleging they failed to protect them from a man who sexually abused them at a school he founded in Haiti.

The lawsuits bring to 21 the number of alleged victims suing Douglas Perlitz and the others. Perlitz was sentenced in 2010 to nearly 20 years in prison for sexually abusing children.

The lawsuits seek $20 million for each victim. They contend a Jesuit priest who was Fairfield University’s chaplain saw Perlitz show a student a pornographic movie and saw boys in his bedroom. The lawsuits say a school board member removed Perlitz’s computer containing pornographic material involving boys.

The Society of Jesus called the crimes “deeply disturbing” but said the school wasn’t a mission of the society.

Telephone messages were left for the other defendants.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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