In a civil lawsuit filed on April 24th, three former basketball players sued a Honolulu school and former coach for alleged sexual harassment and abuse. The lawsuit was filed against former assistant coach Dwayne Yuen and Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii.
One of the Girls Was 12 Years Old
Court documents state that Coach Yuen abused three female students from 2003 to 2006. One of the girls was just 12 years old in 2003. Yuen has declined to comment on the lawsuit and allegations. While sexual abuse victims are rarely named in press, the attorney for Mahina Macfarlane Souza and her sister Ilima-Lei Macfarlane said they were willing to come forward and speak publicly about the sexual harassment allegations.
The third plaintiff on the lawsuit is listed as “Jane Doe.”
Numerous Counts of Sexual Manipulation
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane graduated from Punahou School in 2009 and is the current world championship title belt holder in the flyweight division of Bellator MMA organization. The civil complaint alleges years of sexual abuse and manipulation, including rape of one of the girls.
The lawsuit also states the abhorrent negligence and condoning of the behavior by administrators and other coaches. The complaint calls Yuen a sexual predator who specifically targeted underage female students attending Punahou School.
Yuen would also sexually groom minors, which involves teaching a child to trust an adult who then takes sexual advantage of the child. Numerous accounts of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, cash offers in return for sexual favors, sexually explicit photos, and unwanted sexual advances is listed in the court filing.
Honolulu police spokeswoman Michelle Yu claimed they are unable to release any information since the report involves juveniles. Punahou School issued a statement saying the allegations were troubling and that they had launched an investigation into the claims made.
Sexual Harassment in Hawaii
Sex discrimination and sexual harassment or assault is illegal in Hawaii and not tolerated. However, victims who experience such actions are often left wondering about their rights and next steps. Experienced sexual harassment lawyers can explain victim rights and the best approach to take in a lawsuit. It is imperative to consult with an attorney as soon as possible in the event of sex or gender based discrimination.
Victims of sexual harassment are not limited to women. Men can be sexually abused in a variety of ways too. Sexual discrimination can be perpetrated by both men and women in a number of ways. In addition, harassment based on appearance or sexual orientation qualifies as sexual harassment as well. Sexual harassment attorneys can help by clearing confusion and determining the best course of action.