Punahou School settles all cases alleging sexual abuse by former basketball coach

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Punahou School announced it settled several lawsuits filed by five former students that allege sexual abuse by a former basketball coach on Wednesday.

The person targeted in the lawsuits coached at Punahou between 2003 and 2006.

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Among the victims was MMA fighter Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, who told KHON2 in 2020: “It’s a shame that it took this kind of national spotlight and coverage to prompt Punahou to start this investigation when they’ve had the information since 2004, and subsequently others came forward soon after.”

The joint statement on the settlement between the school and alumni reads in part:

“Punahou respects the courage of these victims to come forward and hopes that this can begin to provide a path toward healing. The school deeply and profoundly apologizes to these former students for the pain they suffered and welcomes the opportunity to learn from them as it continues its work to ensure the safety of its students. Providing for the well-being and safety of each student is Punahou’s highest priority, and we continue to dedicate ourselves to building the strongest culture of safety possible. 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. 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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The school and the victims will not be commenting beyond the statement.

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