An American pastor who moved to Haiti to teach impoverished residents marketable job skills—Recognizes two Haitian orphans and opens a missionary preschool — now facing US charges for “performing illegal sex acts” on a child while living in the Caribbean nation .
Corrigan Clay, 43 years old, arrested on Thursday by federal agents, according to a new unsealed indictment first obtained by The Daily Beast. He is being prosecuted by the Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Pornography Division, documents filed in Pittsburgh federal court.
Clay sexually abused an unidentified child between January 2014 and December 2017, the indictment states. No further details were provided in the filing, except that the alleged victim was under 18 years of age. But Clay’s ex-wife, with whom he has two biological children in addition to the couple they adopted, told The Daily Beast on Friday that the misconduct involved one of their children.
Shelley Jean Clay, who is now operates a Haitian-focused crafts market in Floridadeclined to give more details about the allegations, stressing that she was not involved and did not know what was going on.
“It’s my baby, but I don’t think I have the right to talk about it because the court case is being handled,” she told The Daily Beast. “I don’t object to the facts coming out, but I don’t want to jeopardize the case.”
Clay conducts his ministry, Project is clearwith the stated goal of “building future leaders in Haiti,” along with a tattoo and body piercing salon in Port-au-Prince. He remains in custody in a Pennsylvania jail awaiting trial on March 15.
Both devout Christians, Corrigan and Shelley Jean Clay left Washington State and moved to Haiti in 2008. There, they took jobs as “stay-at-home parents” at an orphanage where they were in charge of 25 boy between the ages of 7 and 17. Then. A year or so later, the couple started a workshop teaching locals how to make money by making jewelry and handicrafts.
Their products are sold domestically and in partnership with major companies abroad, including Gap, Donna Karan and Macy’s. The project has famous clients such as Oprah Winfrey, Ben Stiller and Kim Kardashian, according to Clay.
“Currently, in addition to teaching adults, they are sponsoring classes for children, organizing lunchtime ‘lunch’ parties to feed street children, providing food and in a some cases are shelters for people with little or nothing to call their own”, one Art blogger wrote about Clays in 2010.
By 2016, “the couple’s desire to continue to be cared for increased” and they opened “AP Preschool,” by post.
It explains: “A successful year and in 2017 we added our AP Kindergarten. “The goal is to grow with our AP kids by adding one grade to our school each year! And… to provide quality education, along with character development based on biblical principles! We’re working hard to elevate leaders who can bring positive change to their world! ”
At this point, Clay had been abusing his victims for about three years, according to the federalists.
Clay and his wife started the nonprofit Clear Project with an inheritance Clay received from his late father, who died in a plane crash in 2003.
According to a 2012 profile of the couple in Deseret News. “Because Haiti required a two-year wait for international adoption, Clay decided to move to the orphanage where her future son lives.”
They bought a house in Port-au-Prince, “started collecting garbage on the street,” the filing explains, and the Project apparently soon began to take shape.
When they founded, Clay began making a documentary about Haitian children living in slavery.
“Abandoned by their parents, most work as foster maids for family members, but some end up engaging in the sex trade,” explains Deseret File.
Clay, who earned a degree in visual arts from Seattle Pacific University, a private Christian liberal arts school, is also building a tattoo and body art business, called Ayiti Ink.
“Corrigan loves adult training [sic] and professional artists across a variety of mediums, “his shop” the site is still active said. “He is currently establishing a vocational course for Haitian tattoo artists to raise national standards for health, safety and artistic excellence. He strives to change the negative cultural stigma against the tattoo art form in Haiti by focusing on a positive theme, beautiful layout, while demanding integrity and business ethics from the people he trains. ”
The website now has a disclaimer at the bottom, which reads: “We are no longer based in Haiti.”
At the end of December, The project clearly said It has employed 25 Haitian teachers and support staff, has enrolled more than 70 Haitian children in its school, has more than 25 youth and adults participate in job training programs, and has recruited a software engineer to teach Haitian people how to code.
“From my experience over the last decade… Haitian people always welcome prayer,” said current chief executive Marilyn Monaghan wrote in a blog post. “They always call on God. They still do. I have seen their cries of despair. But now I often find joy and gratitude in their time of prayer & worship! They are experiencing a new life! The seeds ‘you’ planted in their lives are creating good ‘things’ in their hearts and showing up in their everyday lives! Their lives have changed.”
Officials with Clear Project, are still registered as 501(c) 3 and brought annual donation up to $715,000according to tax filings, did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.
Clay’s attorney, William H. Difenderfer, was absent from the office Friday afternoon and was unavailable for comment, his assistant said.
If convicted, Clay faces 30 years in federal prison.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/us-pastor-corrigan-clay-who-adopted-haitian-orphans-charged-over-child-sex-abuse?source=articles&via=rss US Pastor Corrigan Clay Adopts Haitian Orphans Accused of Child Sexual Abuse