US man sentenced to 165 years for child sex tourism offenses

Aug 01 2013, 10:27 IST
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SummaryMatthew Carter, sexually abused more than 50 Haitian children.

An American national has been sentenced to 165 years of imprisonment 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 US District Judge Joan A Lenard of the Southern District of Florida yesterday.

The sentencing follows after a jury in February found him guilty of five counts of traveling in foreign commerce from the US 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," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman.

"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," Raman said.

According to court documents, between 1995 and 2011, Carter frequently traveled between the US 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 testified.

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