Hawaii prep school settles sex abuse lawsuits against former basketball coach

Hawaii prep school settles sex abuse lawsuits against former basketball coach

A Honolulu prep school has settled multiple lawsuits with former students alleging that their basketball coach sexually assaulted them during the mid-2000s, The Star-Advertiser reported on Thursday.

“The victims and Punahou believe that all schools have a solemn responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of every child including protecting them from sexual abuse,” the Punahou School and the women who filed the lawsuits said in a joint statement.

“Together, we dedicate ourselves to creating environments in which all children are safe from sexual predators and empowered to realize their full intellectual, physical and creative potential.”

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Former student-athletes including Shawna-Lei Kuehu and sisters Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and Mahina Macfarlane Souza filed lawsuits against their former coach Dwayne Yuen last year, accusing him of sexual abuse. 

The Macfarlane sisters allege that the school didn’t do anything to protect them after they reported Yuen’s sexual abuse, the Star-Advertiser reported. 

Kuechu, a former all-state basketball player, accused Yuen, whose attorney did not respond to the Star-Advertiser's request for comment, of “unwanted sexual advances” and grooming players when he was their coach. 

The Punahou School did not disclose terms of the full settlement, but it included two other anonymous victims, according to the Hawaii newspaper.