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Judge in Haiti Dismisses Abuse Case Against US Citizen

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - A judge in Haiti has dismissed the case against a U.S. citizen accused of abusing residents of an orphanage he has run for three decades in the Haitian capital.

Michael Geilenfeld had been in custody since his Sep. 5 arrest at the St. Joseph's Home for Boys. A judge ordered his release late Wednesday after a brief trial.

Defense lawyer Alain Lemithe said Thursday that the accusations against Geilenfeld by five former orphanage residents were vague and unsubstantiated. The 63-year founder of the orphanage denied wrongdoing.

He and a North Carolina-based nonprofit have filed a defamation suit in Maine against an activist who has waged an email and blog campaign to publicize accusations against Geilenfeld. A trial in that case was put on hold because of Geilenfeld's arrest.