HONOLULU (KHON2) — Eight former Kamehameha School students have filed a lawsuit claiming that the school was aware of alleged sexual abuse endured from the schools’ psychiatrist, Dr. Robert Browne.
Kamehameha Schools originally settled an $80 million lawsuit in 2018 after 34 former students came forward with similar allegations. The allegations suggested that Browne continuously sexually molested them from 1962 up until 1984.
The newest suit includes a second group of plaintiffs that have come forward as a result of Hawai‘i’s extension of the statute of limitations that allows parties, who are now adults, to address the physical and emotional injuries suffered at the hands of Kamehameha Schools’ psychiatrist.
Browne, who committed suicide in 1991, worked as the schools’ exclusive, designated psychiatrist between 1958 and 1985. The latest victims to come forward say they told teachers, dorm advisors, counselors and administrators about Dr. Browne’s abuse, but Kamehameha Schools repeatedly failed to take action.
“Each of the students were instructed by Dr. Browne not to disclose the nature of his ‘treatment.’ Despite these instructions, many of Dr. Browne’s victims reported the abuse, as well as physical injuries suffered due to sexual trauma to Kamehameha Schools. In the face of repeated allegations from multiple students, Kamehameha Schools continually failed in its obligation to protect the children in its care,” alleged Attorney Mark Davis.
Kamehameha Schools issued the following statements in response to the latest allegations:
“We appreciate the strength and courage it takes for survivors to come forward. We are very sorry for past abuses suffered by Dr. Browne’s patients and will continue to uphold our commitment to do what is right for survivors. We have been working, and will continue to work, on resolving these cases.”
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