Thursday, February 28, 2013

American man found guilty for sexual abuse of Haitian boys

MIAMI — A Michigan man was convicted Thursday of traveling to Haiti to sexually abuse young residents of a group home he ran for poor children in the Caribbean country.

After 90 minutes of deliberation, jurors convicted Matthew Andrew Carter, of Brighton, Mich., on five counts of traveling from Florida for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with minors, along with one count of attempting child sex tourism.

Carter, who also went by the names “William Charles Harcourt” and “Bill Carter,” ran the Morning Star Center in Haiti, first in Croix-des-Bouquets and then in the capital of Port-au-Prince, from 1995 until 2011. His attorneys have described him as a military veteran who became a missionary and wanted to lift a generation of Haitian children out of poverty through education and Bible study.

Carter, 67, had no reaction as the verdict was read, but denied the allegations when he testified Tuesday. Both prosecutors and Carter’s attorneys declined comment after the trial.

Former Morning Star residents testified in Miami federal court during the three-week trial that Carter forced them to perform sexual acts on him when they were children.


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