AUSTIN (KXAN) — A man who previously lived in Liberty Hill is accused of sexually assaulting young girls who lived at an orphanage he ran in Haiti.
The U.S. Department of Justice says Daniel John Pye, 35, would travel from Florida to Jacmel, Haiti on multiple occasions from 2008 to 2011 for the purpose of sexually abusing minors. According to court records, a person contacted the national Homeland Security Investigations tipline in April of 2015 and reported that Pye had sexually abused minor females while working at an orphanage in Haiti.
An investigation revealed Pye, an American citizen, traveled to Haiti more than 40 times from July of 2004 to September of 2013. Over the years, authorities say he sexually assaulted at least four victims who lived at the orphanage. All of them were between six and 14 years old at the time. One victim said the abuse continued for several years.
“I feel sick to my stomach,” said a former Liberty Hill neighbor who used to let her son play at Pye’s house. “There’s a limit where I can watch them and be safe, that they’re safe and secure.”
After the alleged abuse, Pye began working for the Liberty Hill School District in 2013. He worked there for three years and left in Feb. 2016. The district says he mainly worked at the high school as an instructional aide, but also helped with the district behavior program and drove a school bus. The district says he left on good terms and was never disciplined.
If Pye is found guilty in the Haiti cases, his former neighbor hopes he’s punished for the victims’ sake. “I hope the girls get the justice, they deserve it.”
Court records show Pye began running the orphanage in 2005 or 2006, which was affiliated with Haitian Children’s Home. A financial conflict arose and Pye was ultimately fired by the board of Haitian Children’s Home, but Pye continued to run the orphanage with alternative funding.
A person who worked with Pye told authorities that in 2012 Pye was imprisoned in Haiti for an unknown reason. In 2013, he left Haiti and returned to the United States where he “ceased any long-term, within-country work in Haiti.”
Various media reports from 2011 says Pye was “mysteriously detained” and his wife was pleading for help to free her missionary husband. According to Fox News, Pye’s wife said when they went to a judge to divide assets with an organization where an agreement was reached, the judge had Pye arrested. Pye was released five months later.
Authorities say Pye has been living in Ashdown, Arkansas, but the HSI says he also lived in Liberty Hill, Texarkana, and Florida. Investigators say they interviewed four other people from Florida, who said Pye sexually assaulted them when they were between five and seven years old, between 1996 and 1999.
Pye has been charged with traveling in foreign commerce with the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, in the Haiti cases.
Law enforcement encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) through the toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing the online tip form at https://www.ice.gov/webform/hsi-tip-form.