Orphanage Founder and Former Catholic Brother, Michael Geilenfeld, Arrested in Dominican Republic

Michael Geilenfeld, a native of Iowa and founder of the “Maison Saint-Joseph” orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, was arrested in the Dominican Republic on Saturday.

“Brother” Michael Geilenfeld was sent to Haiti in 1983 by the Missionaries of Charity where he established an orphanage. According to one of his alleged victims, Geilenfeld almost immediately began abusing young boys, forcing them to perform despicable acts.  Geilenfeld was arrested in Haiti in 2014 after five former residents of the orphanage came forward and testified against him.  After being incarcerated for 8 months, Geilenfeld was released by a judge in 2015 because the five plaintiffs failed to appear in court.

Later that same year, Haitian authorities closed the orphanage for boys founded by Geilenfeld three decades earlier. Investigators looking into new allegations of sexual abuse against Geilenfeld sought to locate and detain the U.S. citizen.  He had travel restrictions placed on him by Haitian authorities but he apparently was able to successfully flee the country.

Spokesman of the Dominican National Police, Frank Felix Duran Mejia, did not specify the purpose of the arrest or whether Geilenfeld had been charged, refusing to comment on a possible extradition of Geilenfeld to Haiti.