Congratulations to Michael Geilenfeld, Executive Director of St. Joseph Family of Haiti, to whom a jury awarded $14.7 million after "online activist" Paul Kendrick "endlessly defamed, bullied, and harassed" him by claiming that Geilenfeld had repeatedly abused children in his care in Haiti.
Geilenfeld is a former Brother with the Missionaries of Charity Brothers, created by Mother Teresa. Since 1994, Geilenfeld has operated St. Joseph Family of Haiti as a full-time residence and school for Haitian children with physical and mental disabilities, providing these needy children permanent residence, room and board, meals, physical therapy, recreational therapy, formal education, religious education, and more.
As a result of Kendrick's defamation campaign against Geilenfeld and Hearts With Haiti – the organization that raised funds for St. Joseph's – reliable donors ceased supporting Geilenfeld's operation out of fear that their money might be supporting child abuse. The damage that Kendrick wreaked was utterly devastating.
Truth wins out
Kendrick's attacks on Geilenfeld and Hearts With Haiti began in 2011 when Kendrick "published to third parties through public blogs, public website postings, public radio broadcast, and hundreds of e-mails, defamatory statements that [Geilenfeld and Hearts With Haiti] sexually abuse children and otherwise support child sex abuse."
Some of Kendrick's messages are so sexually graphic that we will not post them here. (Again, if one wishes, one can read the actual lawsuit.)
However, in one of his missives from a December 2012 mass e-mail, Kendrick wrote:
Hey, Geilenfeld, you sick son of a bitch [...]
Count on this, Geilenfeld. You are going to prison for the rest of your miserable life for the horrible and despicable sex crimes you have committed against poor and vulnerable Haitian children.
Lots of luck if the Haitian Police detain you in a Haitian prison. Word will spread fast among the inmates that you have sexually assaulted and raped their Haitian children.
Kudos to the jury for seeing through Kendrick's bile and falsehoods and seeking to restore integrity. We hope that other falsely accused Catholics will step forward and fight back against lies and smears against them.
Justice demands it.