Each young woman told a similar story, detailing horrible sexual acts done to them as children while living at a Haitian orphanage in the seaside city of Jacmel.
One young witness was so uncomfortable that she could not say the word vagina, and kept referring to her “front” through a Creole translator to describe how the man who ran the home “was always touching the children.” Another, who testified that her abuse started at age 6, described how he would hold her head and she would struggle as he forced her to perform oral sex on him.
Three others recounted additional episodes of abuse.
On Tuesday, a Miami federal jury found Daniel John Pye, 35, guilty of traveling to Haiti from Miami on three separate dates for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with minor girls in his care. He was found not guilty on a fourth count.
Pye faces up to 30 years in prison on each of the three counts. Sentencing is set for Jan. 10.
Prosecutors painted him as a missionary with a dark side who went to Haiti for one reason: to sexually abuse underage girls.
“The kids did not exaggerate their testimony,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Widlanski told the jury on Monday during closing arguments. “He was going there and he knew exactly what he was going to do, to have illicit sexual conduct….Focus on the words of the victims.”
Defense lawyer Joel DeFabio, however, argued that the witnesses’ memories “were all over the place,” and even after Pye and his wife Leann, who testified on his behalf, had left Haiti, some of the children still kept in touch via Facebook.