FREEPORT — A federal civil lawsuit about sex abuse in Haiti now involves a local man.
Paul Kendrick, 62, has been issued a subpoena by Boston-based attorney Theodore J. Folkman, who represents the Rev. Paul Carrier in a case being heard in U.S. District Court in New Haven, Conn.
Carrier is one of 18 individuals and institutions named as defendants by Haitian Joseph Jean-Charles, who seeks $20 million from each for sexual abuse he allegedly suffered at the hands of Douglas Perlitz.
Perlitz was employed by Carrier as the executive director of a residential schools for boys called Project Pierre Touissaint.
According to court records, the school was founded in 1997 by Carrier, Perlitz and Fairfield University, a Jesuit school in Fairfield, Conn. The residential schools and an intake center, all near Cap Haitien, were operated by the Haiti Fund, which was overseen by the university and Carrier.
Kendrick has been advocating for victims of abuse by the clergy in Maine, and now in Haiti. Folkman’s subpoena seeks communications and documents between Kendrick, abuse victims and journalists Cyrus Sibert and Michael Mayko.
Sibert is an independent journalist and blogger based in Haiti. Mayko is a Connecticut-based reporter who wrote about the abuse scandal and the Haitian school’s links to Fairfield University.
“The subpoena is nonsense and diversionary,” Kendrick said this week. “Bring it on, I’ve got nothing to hide.”
Kendrick said his immediate response was to write Folkman, asking for all communications between Carrier and Perlitz, financial information showing money raised by Carrier in support of Project Pierre Toussaint, and details of travels Perlitz and Carrier made on “vacations.”
Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston attorney representing Jean-Charles, said he will also work with Kendrick on the subpoena.
“The subpoena is an attempt to harass. It is overly broad and unduly burdensome. Mr. Kendrick is a hero,” Garabedian said.
Garabedian added there are no depositions currently scheduled regarding Kendrick’s communications, so he has not filed any response with U.S. District Court Judge Janet C. Hall.
“Where appropriate, I will protect Mr. Kendrick’s rights,” Garabedian said.
Kendrick, a 1972 graduate of Fairfield University, said his connection to the Pierre Toussaint Project began in 2003. He said it was not until about 2007 he learned about Perlitz’s crimes through an anonymous tip.
“I am deeply affected by their pain and what happened to (the victims),” he said. “I was spending all my time saying ‘this is not your fault.’ But they need more than that.”
In his complaint, Jean-Charles said he was about 15 when Perlitz began abusing him in 2006.
Perlitz was convicted in U. S. District Court in Connecticut of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual contact in 2010, and sentenced to 19 years, seven months in prison.