U.S. Citizen Arrested for Traveling to Haiti with Intent to Sexually Abuse Minors

A U.S. citizen made his initial appearance in Colorado last week to face a charge for traveling to Haiti with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a person under the age of 18.

According to court documents and information disclosed in open court, between 2006 and 2010, Michael Geilenfeld, 71, originally of Iowa, is alleged to have traveled from Miami International Airport to Haiti multiple times to engage in sexual acts with minors. While in Haiti, Geilenfeld operated the St. Joseph’s Home for Boys, a residence which served economically disadvantaged children in and around the capital city of Port-au-Prince. Multiple individuals who lived at the St. Joseph’s Home for Boys reported that Geilenfeld sexually abused them when they were under the age of 18.

Geilenfeld was arrested on Jan. 20 in Colorado. He is charged with one count of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.

Geilenfeld’s detention hearing is scheduled to resume on Feb. 1.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Anthony Salisbury of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Miami, and Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Veltri of the FBI Miami Field Office made the announcement.

HSI and the FBI are investigating the case.

Trial Attorneys Jessica Urban and Eduardo Palomo of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lacee Monk for the Southern District of Florida are prosecuting the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Justice Department. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

Anyone with related information or who may have been a victim or witness should contact HSI at 877-4-HSI TIP (877-447-4847).

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


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