Raleigh ministry defended accused orphan-molester | Raleigh J6 journalist accuses DOJ of "retaliation" | Anti-Israel protesters disrupt UNC public discourse event
No. 56 — Jan. 21-Jan. 27, 2024
Raleigh ministry vigorously defended orphanage founder now arrested for abuse
American founder of orphanage in Haiti is charged with having sex with minors - Miami Herald
Freeport man feels vindicated after Haitian orphanage founder charged with sexually abusing minors - Press Herald
American founder of Haitian orphanage sexually abused 4 boys, prosecutor says - AP
Haiti orphanage founder arrested for third time on sex tourism, molestation charges - Haitian Times
Lawyer for indicted founder of Haitian orphanage says a previous grand jury didn’t charge him - Orlando Sentinel
An orphanage founder who had been supported and defended by Raleigh-based non-profit Hearts with Haiti was arrested and federally charged over allegedly travelling to Haiti between 2006-2010 "for the purpose of engaging in any illicit sexual conduct...with another person under 18 years of age".
Michael Karl Geilenfeld, who founded St. Joseph's Home for Boys in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 1985, has been accused of sexually abusing up to 16 boys who were in his care.
Hearts with Haiti attempted to distance themselves from Geilenfeld in a statement to the News & Observer after the arrest:
“To our knowledge, Mr. Geilenfeld has not been involved with the St. Joseph Family ministries in Haiti since 2014,” Everett wrote in an email to The News & Observer.
“Hearts with Haiti severed all ties with Mr. Geilenfeld years ago,” she continued. “Mr. Geilenfeld was never an employee, volunteer nor member of the Hearts with Haiti Board of Directors. Hearts with Haiti has no knowledge regarding the guilt or innocence of Michael Geilenfeld concerning these federal charges.”
However, this attempt by Hearts with Haiti to absolve themselves of responsibility for Geilenfeld's alleged abuse is belied by the fact that Hearts with Haiti filed (and won) a defamation case in 2013 against an American activist, Paul Kendrick, who worked to amplify the claims of the boys who were allegedly abused by Geilenfeld. The defamation case was settled by Kendrick's insurance for $3 million in 2019, according to the AP.
This isn't the first time Geilenfeld has been arrested on charges of sexually abusing the orphan boys he claimed to be taking care of; Haitian authorities arrested Geilenfeld and shut down the orphanage in 2014 after the allegations against him were made public. However, those charges were dismissed after five of the alleged victims failed to appear before the court.
Geilenfeld was arrested again in 2019 in the Dominican Republic on the same charges, but he was allowed to return to the United States instead of facing deportation to Haiti.
The federal charge Geilenfeld now faces, Traveling in Foreign Commerce with the Purpose of Engaging in Illicit Sexual Conduct (18 U.S.C. § 2423(b)), carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.
DOJ accused of “retaliation” in threatening to charge Raleigh J6 journalist
Attorneys’ Statement on Threatened Prosecution of Investigative Journalist - Press Release, Press Conference
The team of lawyers who has volunteered to represent Raleigh journalist Steve Baker issued a press release this week decrying the Department of Justice's threats to charge Baker over his coverage of the January 6th riot at the US Capitol.
As I covered at the time, Baker, now a contributor at Blaze Media, has been releasing investigatory pieces which cast the federal government and the DOJ in a negative light.
Despite informing Baker in December that they were finally filing charges against him, the DOJ has for a second time failed to follow through with their threats against him.
According to this week's release, Baker and his legal team have received information that his latest investigation, reporting that the "passerby" who discovered the second pipe "bomb" on January 6th was in fact a plain clothes Capitol Police officer, has inspired the DOJ to seek a basis to file more serious charges against him.
I will make sure to keep y'all updated as this story continues to develop.
"Students for Justice in Palestine" interrupt public discourse event at UNC
UNC SJP protests Pro-Israel Journalist Bari Weiss on campus - Carolina Journal
Panel on Objectivity in Journalism Draws Protests - Carolina Alumni Review
Students attempt heckler’s veto against Twitter Files journalist Bari Weiss - Free Speech Union
An anti-Israel activist group attempted to disrupt an event on objectivity in journalism put on by UNC's Program for Public Discourse and Carolina Alumni, featuring former New York Times journalists Bari Weiss and Frank Bruni.
Weiss, a Jewish-American, was targeted by the group over her support for the state of Israel, and her opposition to neo-Marxist ideologies:
Bari Weiss is a right-wing US political commentator who has spent her career egregiously attempting to conflate anti-Zionism and antisemitism. In her writings on what she calls the ‘antisemitism of the left,’ which is the major focus of most of her work, she frequently reviles intersectionality, solidarity politics, anti-Zionism, pro-Palestinian voices, and any functional critique of Israel.
After interrupting the discussion with signs, flags, and chants, the demonstrators were escorted out of the venue by UNC Police.