$60M sex-abuse claims settlement reached against Fairfield U. grad’s charity
A $60 million settlement has been reached in connection to sexual abuse claims made against a Fairfield University graduate's Haitian charity, lawyers announced Friday.
In a press release, attorneys announced a settlement had been reached and was pending court approval.
“The Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian and Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC announced that a class action settlement, subject to court approval, has been reached for the minor victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by Douglas Perlitz, Father Paul E. Carrier, S.J., or anyone else affiliated with the school and programs commonly known as ‘Project Pierre Toussaint’ or ‘PPT’ of Haiti,” the release read.
Carrier has never been criminally charged and, in the past his lawyer has said the allegations aren't credible.
According to the press release, the proposed class action settlement is separate from an additional settlement seeking $1,200,000.
The claims go back to the late 1990s and early 2000s, according to the university.
"They thought they had a grain of hope by attending Project Pierre Toussaint, but instead, they were ravaged by sexual abuse," says Mitchell Garabedian, the attorney representing the alleged victims.
The lawyers say the case involves 133 sexual abuse victims who claim to have been sexually abused as minors by Perlitz, currently incarcerated in federal prison. One of the 133 sexual abuse victims claims to have been also sexually abused as a minor by Fr. Paul E. Carrier, S.J.
Perlitz, a Fairfield University graduate, founded the charitable organization for homeless boys with the help of several Catholic charitable organizations, including Fairfield University. He was also the school's commencement speaker in 2002.
Fairfield University released a statement saying, "Everyone in our community has been saddened by these events. Our prayers are with all those whose trust has been betrayed, and we hope that these proceedings and the settlement reached will give some measure of relief to the victims."
School officials say insurance will cover the payout and that academic programs won't be affected.