AUSTIN (KXAN) — Daniel Pye was sentenced to 40 years in prison for sexually exploiting children in Haiti while working as a missionary, the U.S. Department of Justice said Wednesday.
Pye, 36, of Ashdown, Arkansas, previously lived in Liberty Hill, Texas. His sentence is to be followed by 25 years of supervised release.
Pye was convicted in November 2017 after a week-long trial on three counts of traveling in foreign commerce with the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor — known as child sex tourism.
Court records show Pye operated an orphanage in Jacmel, Haiti from 2006 to 2012. The orphanage gave shelter, clothing, food and school tuition to children without families and children whose families could not feed or support them.
The orphanage was funded through Pye’s connections with numerous religious organizations and non-profit groups in the United States, the Justice Department said.
Government officials say Pye would regularly sexually abuse the girls in the orphanage, some as young as 6 years old, as described by Haitian victims during the trial. The sexual abuse happened both at the orphanage and while at the beach.
After leaving Haiti, Pye lived in Liberty Hill, Texarkana, Texas and Ashdown.
Pye worked for the Liberty Hill School District in 2013 and left in February 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.
“I feel sick to my stomach,” a former Liberty Hill neighbor who used to let her son play at Pye’s house told KXAN in February 2017. “There’s a limit where I can watch them and be safe, that they’re safe and secure.”