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Ex-Damien students sue priest, school for alleged sex abuse

By Rob Perez

LAST UPDATED: 2:51 p.m. HST, Mar 20, 2013

Two former Damien Memorial School students have filed a lawsuit accusing a priest who taught there in the early 1980s of sexually abusing them while they were at the school.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in state court, is the second to be filed since last year alleging that the Rev. Gerald Funcheon molested students while he was a priest and teacher at Damien from 1982 to 1984.

Defendants include Funcheon and the Congregation of Christian Brothers in Hawaii, which operates Damien Memorial School.

Minnesota lawyer Jeff Anderson, whose law firm and a local one represents the plaintiffs, said they have identified at least a dozen alleged victims of Funcheon who were abused in Hawaii.

At a news conference today, Anderson played a video of Funcheon taken during a deposition in which the priest acknowledged sexually abusing youth during his priesthood but was unsure how many victims there were.

The plaintiffs in the most recent lawsuit were identified only as John Roe No. 9 and 10.

The lawsuits were filed under a Hawaii law that gives sex abuse victims until April 2014 to pursue civil charges no matter how long ago the alleged abuse happened.

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