Va. missionary admits having sex with 21 boys, ages 5-17, on trips to Haiti

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A self-proclaimed Christian missionary from Virginia has admitted to having sex with at least 21 boys, ages 5 to 17, while on missionary trips to Haiti.

James Daniel Arbaugh, 40, of Stuarts Draft, Va., pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of illicit sexual conduct with a boy under the age of 18.

According to court documents, Arbaugh admitted to befriending, grooming, and engaging in sexual conduct with minors while in Haiti on trips between 2008 and 2017.

Arbaugh traveled throughout Haiti evangelizing and showing Christian-themed movies, according to a statement from United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle.

Arbaugh will be sentenced on June 13 in the District Court in Harrisonburg. He faces up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.

Arbaugh was arrested in 2017 after he allegedly told a counselor about his sexual contact with Haitian boys.

The counselor reported Arbaugh to police.

According to The Mennonite, Arbaugh has been a Mennonite missionary and was a board member for Walking Together for Christ Haiti.

On his own website (, Arbaugh calls himself Missionary James and describes his work:

I am serving as a missionary with Walking Together for Christ and “tentmaker” implementing OpenMRS in Haiti. My real ministry is media ministry; producing, translating and showing evangelistic films, like the Jesus Film, God's Story, The Hope, Le Combat, La Solution, True Security, True Forgiveness, Incomparable Grace and Magdalena.

In January, Daniel Pye, 36 , an Arkansas man who ran an orphanage in Jacmel, Haiti, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for sexually abusing girls while working as a missionary in Haiti, according to a U.S. Department of Justice statement. .

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