(CMR) A Miami judge is to decide if a 71-year-old American man accused of sexually abusing boys at a Haitian orphanage is to be sent to a halfway house until trial or be detained.
Michael Karl Geilenfeld (71), accused of sexually abusing boys at a Haitian orphanage he founded between 2006 and 2010, was arrested last month.
According to the Miami Herald, earlier this month, Magistrate Judge Scott Varholak in Colorado denied a request by federal prosecutors to detain Michael Karl Geilenfeld after he was indicted on January 18 by a grand jury in Miami.
Varholak ordered him to be sent to a halfway house and outfitted with a GPS monitoring device. However, he held off on having Geilenfeld released from a Denver federal prison until a federal judge in Florida could rule on the matter after prosecutors said they would appeal, the Miami Herald reported.
In the appeal, prosecutors argue that Geilenfeld poses a flight risk, has no ties to South Florida, and is a danger to the community, given the severe nature of the allegations.
Geilenfeld, who was arrested in Denver, is accused of traveling from Miami to Haiti 14 times between November 2006 and December 2010 to engage in “illicit sexual conduct with another person under 18.” If convicted, Geilenfeld faces a maximum sentence of 30 years.
Over the years, Geilenfeld was accused of sexually abusing boys at the orphanage but was not prosecuted. He won a multimillion-dollar defamation lawsuit in a Maine federal court against an advocate who accused him of sexually abusing boys at his orphanage in Haiti, the Herald reported.
Geilenfeld had also been arrested in Haiti on the same allegations that landed him in a Port-au-Prince jail amid the defamation battle —only to have the case dismissed by a judge when some of his alleged victims were a no-show in court.