Adoption 'lawyer' in Haitian dispute tied to child sex case

SANTO DOMINGO -- The man providing legal advice to American church workers charged with trying to take children out of Haiti did jail time in the United States for bank fraud years before emerging as the key suspect in a child prostitution ring in El Salvador, according records and interviews.

The mother and stepfather of Jorge Anibal Torres Puello told The Miami Herald in an extensive interview Saturday the fugitive wanted by Salvadoran police was their son, who has been advising the church volunteers in the unfolding legal drama.

``That's him,'' a teary Ana Puello said from her modest home in the outskirts of Santo Domingo. ``But those things they say about him, I doubt they're true . . . He told me, `Mami, I swear I didn't.' He would never hurt a child.''

Though his wife was convicted in the case, Torres Puello left the country -- wanted by Salvadoran police -- before ending up in Haiti.

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