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U.S. Man Charged with Child Sex Tourism in Haiti

U.S. Man Charged with Child Sex Tourism in Haiti

A Michigan man who ran a residential center for poor children in Haiti has been indicted on charges of child sex tourism, federal prosecutors said Friday. Matthew Andrew Carter, 66, of Brighton, Michigan, forced boys at the Morning Star Center, which provided food, shelter and education, to engage in sexual conduct in exchange for gifts, money or continued care, the US Attorney’s Office in Miami said.

At the Port-au-Prince centre, Mr. Carter, who also went by the names “William Charles Harcourt” and “Bill Carter,” was known as “Mister Bill.”

A bearded father figure who walked with a limp, Mr. Carter showered boys with attention at the concrete home he has rented for the last four years, and at two other locations where he operated earlier. But he also beat his boys with sticks, punched them with his fists, fired his gun in the air and locked them in the yard “with the dogs,” four young men at his centre told The Associated Press. Yet despite the abuse they said they suffered or witnessed, the boys stayed at the centre.

Mr. Carter has been in custody since his arrest 8 May in Miami on a charge of travelling from the US to Haiti for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with minors.

A grand jury indicted Mr. Carter on 19 May, and a superseding indictment filed Thursday added three additional counts. If convicted, Mr. Carter faces up to 15 years in prison for one count of child sex tourism and up to 30 years in prison for each of the other counts.

Mr. Carter’s federal public defender did not immediately return messages Friday from The Associated Press.

Mr. Carter had run the school in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince since the mid-1990s, and he regularly travelled between the Caribbean country and the US to fundraise, according to court documents.

Fourteen boys currently live at the centre full-time, and three others live there on the weekends, the documents said.

Most of the boys’ families sent them to Mr. Carter’s centre to receive support and educational opportunities that they could not afford, while other boys were orphans, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Alvaro Flores wrote in a 4 May criminal complaint.

Carter engaged in illicit sexual conduct with at least eight former and current students from the mid-1990s through April, according to the criminal complaint. He allegedly forced the students to engage in sexual acts in exchange for gifts, money or continued care.

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