Friday, March 01, 2013

Man Guilty Of Child Sex Tourism

Man Found Guilty in Florida of Child Sex Tourism Charges

MIAMI, FL. -- Matthew Andrew Carter was found guilty by a federal jury Thursday in Miami of child sex tourism charges. Carter operated the Morning Star Center, a facility for children in Haiti.

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 sexually and physically abused the children in his care and custody at the facility and 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 or continue to receive school tuition payments.

The Morning Star Center was a residential facility that provided shelter, food, clothing and school tuition to Haitian children. Carter previously was charged with and acquitted of charges related to the sexual abuse of children in London, Cairo, Egypt and Winter Haven, Fla. 

Also known as “William Charles Harcourt” and “Bill Carter,” 67, a former Michigan resident, was found guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida 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. 

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 children who lived at the Morning Star Center were from impoverished families that could not feed them, send them to school 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.

At sentencing, Carter faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison on one count and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for each of the other five counts. Carter is scheduled for sentencing on May 20, 2013, in Miami before U.S. District Judge Joan A. Lenard.

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