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Former Damien chaplain sued over sexual abuse allegations

By Jennifer Sinco Kelleher

Associated Press


Attorneys have filed a lawsuit on behalf of a man alleging sexual abuse by a priest at a Hono­lulu all-boys Catholic school in the 1980s.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Oahu Circuit Court, claims the then-13-year-old boy was a freshman when he was abused during an overnight retreat by the Rev. Gerald Funcheon, a former chaplain and teacher at Damien Memorial School.

The lawsuit doesn't name the plaintiff, now an adult living in Hono­lulu.

This is the first lawsuit under a new Hawaii law providing a two-year window for claims of sexual abuse against minors to be made, even if the statute of limitations has lapsed, said Joelle Casteix, western regional director for Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. The two-year window began April 24, when Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed it into law.

"It takes victims sometimes decades to come forward," Casteix said.

Damien President Bernard Ho said Friday the lawsuit will be reviewed by legal counsel. A spokes­man for the Diocese of Hono­lulu would not comment on pending litigation. Funcheon could not be located for comment. His last known address was a church-run facility in Missouri, Casteix said.

The lawsuit claims Funcheon was allowed "unsupervised and unlimited access to children at Damien" despite reports made to his order, Crosier Fathers and Brothers Province Inc., about his inappropriate sexual conduct toward minors. "Before plaintiff was sexually abused, the Crosiers had serious concerns about Funcheon's interactions with children, Funcheon's sexuality and Funcheon's abuse of alcohol and prescription drugs," the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

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Wahiawamauka wrote:
Nah, can't be. This is the first time I've heard of this kind of thing.
on May 26,2012 | 03:03AM
hi2vegas wrote:
Hey Bernard, The pedophile is long gone. What are you doing about the moribund athletic program?
on May 26,2012 | 07:59AM
Changalang wrote:
How come nobody is talking about the teacher from HBA actively having sex with a student that was on the news last night? This is current and relevant to all parents concerned about child predators in the educational workforce........ " A Hawaii Baptist Academy teacher has resigned amid allegations he had consensual sex with a male teenaged student, sources said Friday.The case has caused quite a stir at a private religious school with a strict code of student conduct. HBA has 1,100 students from kindergarten to the 12th grade, with its middle and high school campus located just off the Pali Highway in Nuuanu." (Hawaii News Now, yesterday) HBA officials called police earlier this week after a male high school student told administrators he had a consensual sexual relationship with a male teacher, sources said. The student is a member of HBA's senior class, and he's at least 17 years old, a source said.
on May 26,2012 | 08:12AM
Graham wrote:
Because it is not a Catholic school.
on May 26,2012 | 02:40PM
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