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Virginia Man in Custody for Sexual Molestation of at Least 21 Haitian Children

Children stand outside their flooded homes on Nov. 6, 2010, in Petite Riviere, Haiti. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Children stand outside their flooded homes on Nov. 6, 2010, in Petite Riviere, Haiti. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Yet another pedophile has been arrested for molesting the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. This time it was a “missionary” from Virginia who was taken into federal custody after admitting to sexual contact with young boys in Haiti, with one as young as 5 years old.

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James Arbaugh of Stuarts Draft, Va., was reported to authorities in September after he allegedly disclosed sexual contact with at least 21 children.

WHSV-TV reports:

The affidavit alleges he told investigators in subsequent interviews that he “groomed” or had sexual contact including oral sex with at least 21 boys. One 5-year-old boy he allegedly molested was the son of a pastor in Jeremie, a city devastated last year by Hurricane Matthew.

“Arbaugh described sexual acts that took place with at least 15 minors which would be considered illicit sexual conduct,” special agent Tami Ketcham wrote in the affidavit.

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The affidavit also alleges that Arbaugh would swim naked with Haitian boys while traveling around the country, “and at times genital skin-to-skin touching would take place beneath the water.”

According to reports, Arbaugh lived in Haiti for at least 10 years as a missionary with a since-disbanded group called “Walking Together for Christ.”

Someone in the group obviously knew something because Arbaugh reportedly returned to the United States to receive professional counseling for unnamed “sexual sins.”

Brian Concannon, executive director of the Boston-based advocacy group Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, says that the Haitian government needs to do a better job of protecting its citizens, but missionary groups need to do their due diligence as well.

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“They need to step up to ensure they are not supporting child abusers,” he said.

Arbaugh, who in a blog describes himself as an evangelist and religious-film producer, is being held in federal custody without bond at the Central Virginia Regional Jail.

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Read more at WHSV-TV.

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Senior Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.

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DISCUSSION

I’m not surprised......... This happens a lot in poor Black and Brown countries. No easier way for a pedophile to gain access to children than through religion.