APNewsBreak: Defamation suit over Haiti sex claim settled

September 08, 2019 - 1:12 pm

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — An attorney says a defamation lawsuit against a Maine activist who accused an orphanage founder in Haiti of being a serial pedophile has been settled.

Paul Kendrick's attorney told The Associated Press that the defendant's insurance companies agreed to pay $3 million to Hearts With Haiti but nothing to orphanage founder Michael Geilenfeld. The attorney says Hearts With Haiti and Geilenfeld dropped their defamation claims.

The settlement ends a case that has dragged on for six years. Kendrick says the effort was worth it because he believes children are now safer.

Hearts with Haiti and Geilenfeld contend Kendrick ruined Geilenfeld's reputation and cost the charity millions. A federal jury awarded $14.5 million in damages but the verdict was dismissed. The lawsuit was refiled in state court before being settled.

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This headline has been corrected to show the lawsuit alleged defamation, not sexual abuse.

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