Saturday 3 August 2013

Brighton Man Guilty Of Haiti Child Abuse

31 July 2013

A former Brighton man was sentenced today in Miami to 165 years in prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release, for child sex tourism offenses.

Matthew Andrew Carter, 68, aka “William Charles Harcourt” and “Bill Carter,” was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Joan A. Lenard of the Southern District of Florida.

A jury convicted Carter in February of five counts of traveling in foreign commerce from the United States to Haiti for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with children and one count of attempting to do so.

“For 15 years, Matthew Carter, under the guise of serving as an international humanitarian, sexually abused more than 50 Haitian children,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Raman said in a statement. “He held himself out as a savior to vulnerable children in Haiti, but in fact cruelly forced those children to choose between poverty and submitting to repeated sexual abuse.

“Child sex tourism is a heinous crime, and today's sentence demonstrates our commitment to bringing the weight of justice on anyone who seeks to exploit our most vulnerable citizens, wherever they reside,” he added.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, from 1995 to 2011, Carter resided at and operated the Morning Star Center near Port-au-Prince, Haiti, prior to his arrest on May 8, 2011.

The Morning Star Center was a residential facility that provided shelter, food, clothing and school tuition to Haitian children.

The children who lived at the Morning Star Center were from impoverished families that could not feed, educate or otherwise support their children.

The evidence at trial showed that Carter specifically targeted children in need and preyed on their vulnerability. Between 1995 and 2011, Carter frequently traveled between the United States and Haiti in order to raise funds from churches and donors for the continued operation of the center.

Carter sexually and physically abused the children in his care and custody at the center during this period of time.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Carter used force to get these children to comply with his sexual demands and required the children to participate in sexual acts in order to receive food, remain at the center and/or continue to receive school tuition payments.

At trial, 16 Haitian victims who resided at the Morning Star Center between 1995 and 2011 testified. Additionally, four witnesses testified that they were sexually abused by Carter in London during the 1970s.

Carter previously was charged with and acquitted of charges related to the sexual abuse of children in London, Cairo and Winter Haven, Fla.

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