Maine supreme court declines to dismiss defamation lawsuit

Published 02-21-2019

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The Maine supreme court has declined to dismiss a defamation lawsuit against a Maine activist who accused an orphanage founder in Haiti of being a serial pedophile.

Paul Kendrick argued that his assertions were protected by a Maine law that protects people from meritless suits aimed at chilling First Amendment rights.

On Thursday, his request was rejected.

Hearts with Haiti and orphanage founder Michael Geilenfeld contend Kendrick ruined Geilenfeld's reputation and cost the charity millions.

A federal jury previously awarded $14.5 million to Geilenfeld and Hearts with Haiti, but the verdict was dismissed. The case was refiled in state court.

Kendrick asserts that his claims are true and that more victims are willing to testify. Geilenfeld has testified that the abuse allegations were "vicious, vile lies."

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