comscore Autistic student raped Pearl City classmate while aide napped, lawsuit says | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Autistic student raped Pearl City classmate while aide napped, lawsuit says

  • A screen shot of Pearl City High School’s website.

An autistic high school student raped a classmate while the adult assigned to monitor him was taking a nap, said a federal lawsuit accusing Hawaii’s statewide school district of negligence.

The autistic student had a full-time one-on-one aide because he was known to be violent, the lawsuit filed Monday said. The aide was asleep when the 2012 attack happened during Pearl City High School band practice, the lawsuit said.

The Associated Press doesn’t typically name victims of sexual assault. The 10th-grade girl was in the back of the band at the percussion section when the larger 11th-grader raped her there and then again in a curtained area of the auditorium.

The aide was sleeping in the audience section of the auditorium, the lawsuit said.

State Department of Education spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz declined to comment on pending litigation. Kyle Miyashiro, who was a vice principal at the time and is named as a defendant, referred questions to the school’s principal who didn’t immediately respond today. The aide, Bryan Simpson, is also named as a defendant and no longer works at the school, Miyashiro said. Simpson couldn’t be reached for comment.

The girl reported the rape to her mother and police, said her attorney Peter Hsieh. The autistic student was prosecuted in family court and convicted of two counts of first-degree sexual assault, Hsieh said.

“She dropped out of high school. She couldn’t finish because of what happened to her,” Hsieh said. But she later earned a GED diploma and is now studying bioengineering at the University of Hawaii, he said.

“She’s basically turned an adverse situation as a motivator for her,” he said, adding that it was her decision to pursue a civil lawsuit.

In a separate, similar case, a jury last year determined that the Department of Education failed to protect a special education student who said she was raped by a special education classmate at Waianae High School. The jury awarded the girl and her mother about $810,000 in damages, but the state appealed. The case is before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said Hsieh, who also handled that case.

The two lawsuits send a “loud message that there is a lack of proper training and supervision of teachers, aides and assistants,” Hsieh said, “especially when it comes to children who have a history of violence.”

Comments (61)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

      • And the other three months are used as professional improvement, attending training, workshops, especially for those assigned to teach new subjects, etc, plus preparation for the next school year. And no they don’t just work six hours a day and just nine months of the year.

        • Like marching to the capitol to demand more salary. Professional development? No raises for bad teachers and the on the whole this state is plagued with terrible teachers.

        • Let’s say we were able to get rid of all the bad teachers in the state. How would we replace them? There is already a shortage of teachers, especially high qualified ones. It is obvious the current teaching environment in Hawaii is severely lacking and the high cost of living is driving away more good teachers every year and our great weather and beaches is not enough to attract good ones from the mainland. Why pay high tuition costs of college to get a low paying teaching job plus all the negative feedback from the local public?

        • Maybe you should get a job as a teacher if you want to see for yourself what they have to go through every day.

    • Unfortunately with the DOE and HSTA all they want is more money with ZERO accountabilty for teachers, adminsistrators, students , parents etc. so you have this type of disgusting situation way more often that what the public knows about This and a thousand other failures of the DOE is the reason why so many parents work multiple jobs and financially sacrifice to have their kids attend private school in Hawaii. Public treachers can march all they want demanding more pay. All the money in the world will NEVER change the failures of the DOE.

      • agree. And as we know, DOE teachers, for the most part, have weaker degrees and typically graduated in the bottom quintile of their colleges. Let us be honest about who and what they are. Good teachers? Sure, we have some. Why not recognize them and reward them. Yet HSTA refuses to do that. Corey also failed to organize the public who do support public education to join with them in a broad-based alliance. Making it a salary grab issue when the production of the HSTA teachers is so embarrassing was the wrong way to go. HSTA needs some leadership.

        • Often use a smart phone or tablet with a tiny virtual keyboard and type quickly. No spell check while using the phone or tablet to post.

        • PS: Wasn’t my initial intention to use the words “Public treacher” however this actually might be MORE accurate as in public treachery? This might be a Freudian thing…

    • I am sorry for the victim…
      but, ever heard the saying, “You get what you pay for?” I heard in the news these past few days about how Hawaii teachers are one of the lowest paid with cost of living factored in. It that is true… then we the state get what we pay for. We probably could get really good teachers… but we the citizens don’t want to pay for it. We want our cake and eat it too! I have a haunch that if we pay top dollar, then we’ll start seeing top notch candidates. Don’t get me wrong, there are choke top notch teachers in the DOE who are taking pay cuts to help the system and also stay here in Hawaii. Then… there are those that are hired for the open slots only because they were the only choice/applicants. Why not more applicants? …too low pay. That’s what I mean we get what we pay for!

      • there are good dedicated teachers who care and teach! There are just as much or even more lousy, lazy union protected teachers TOO
        How can the taxpayer be asked to pay for those loser teachers. Once they are tenured many just learn how to play the system all the way to retirement.
        Unless you have or had kids in the DOE, then you haven’t seen these “teachers” in action. They don’t want to talk to parents, many leave as soon as the bell rings. Administration also protects their teachers as well as the unions. Look at this case, what ever happened to this teacher. Where was the teacher during this violent act. How come there is no mention of this at all.
        Ask yourself if that was your child, will you support teachers like this.
        also to those that always use the “try being a teacher then you will know what they go through” I got news for all of you, these teachers made their CHOICE to become teachers. It it not like the State promised them a six figure salary when they got hired. To me that is all BS and not fair to tell others they have a hard job and we need to be in their shoes etc etc.
        again, these people made their OWN career CHOICE. No one forced them to become teachers. THE END

      • MDA, I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with you. Question, what would you consider an appropriate wage? Keeping in mind that teachers also get full benefits, including medical, retirement, many many holidays and personal days as well.

  • Autism, which barely existed 50 years ago, has become a catch-all condition that can describe anyone from the painfully shy and withdrawn to violent sociopaths. This guy should have been in an institution, not a public high school.

  • So this happened during band practice, so where was the teacher while this was happening in the percussion section.
    Besides the lame duck aide who was sleeping, how can this happening during band practice or am i missing something here.
    Seems like both were part of the Band, so wouldn’t the teacher or section leader know that both were missing?
    So if the teachers win a raise, will this teacher also be given a raise? great deal!

  • Sorry,but this is just plain ridiculous!! so the aide no longer works at that school. Is he working at another school.
    Whatever happened to classroom management!!
    How can this happen in a classroom? or band room, was the teacher sleeping as well, in fact was the entire band sleeping too?

  • Matayoshi and her friends will fight the lawsuit and say it was an innocent mistake. No hard feelings. Richard Nixon didn’t admit he lied but said to everyone it was all a mistake.

  • A very tragic / sad story … just glad this young lady has been able to thus far put her life together and is furthering her education … hope this violent autistic kid can get the professional help he needs …

    • Agree this girl has done well after the assualt but the pain of these victims will NEVER go away. At best with counseling, time and support they just learn to suppress the pain and bad memories Time and positive accomplishments help but sometimes there are triggers that will bring the painful memories back. Something like PTSD. For the violent kid with alleged mental problems, not everyone in society with evil and dangeruous tendencies can be ‘cured’. Sometimes they need to be incarcerated or permanently removed from society.

  • A failure of the School Superintendent to flag serious problems in the schools and take appropriate action to insure it does not happen again. Who was responsible for supervising the aide? There needs to be accountability all the way to the top!

  • Nothing was stated about any punishment for the aide, Bryan Simpson, so I presume he got off with nothing even though he played a major role in this serious event. This is more evidence that our public workers operate with a different set of rules than the general public. I can virtually guarantee you that, if this had occurred in one of our private schools, the State would have prosecuted the people involved. I commend the girl involved for making what was probably a very difficult decision to pursue this in court. I wish we could drain our swamp.

  • Why so angry at teachers. To lump all teachers as bad is as silly as some of your posts. Be angry at the state, the DOE, the HSTA for for an outdated, old school model to exist and not institute a new approach that gets rid of the bad apples while hard working teachers are rewarded and appreciated. Or better yet, use your energy to support your local schools. Be a volunteer or donate supplies directly to a teacher who desperately could use them.

    • FYI, the aides are part of the HGEA union and nothing to do with HSTA. But yes, you are right, the DOE is the big part of the problem, the monster, the invisible force that no politician is willing or can take down. Lingle couldn’t do it, Ige certainly won’t do it

  • You got these sleepers at all levels of government. He probably was a teachers aid and they hire anybody to that job essentially just a baby sitter that fell asleep.

  • The crime against the girl is terrible, and those responsible should be punished. The offense by the Star-Advertiser against the children, adults, and their families in the ASD community, though not as terrible, should not go unnoticed. Putting in the story and emphasizing in the headline that the criminal was on the autism spectrum is unnecessary, irresponsible, and harmful. There is a reason that journalists stopped identifying criminals and suspects by race – even when the perpetrator was at large and race could have helped catch the perpetrator. If the boy must be identified as needing an aide, to specify “autism” as the reason is not relevant. The autism spectrum is broad and few in it are violent. This reflects either great ignorance on the part of the editors and reporter or gross negligence.

  • It seems like the majority above didn’t read this correctly. The Aide was asleep not the teacher…this has nothing to do with the teacher. The autistic student was assigned an adult aide to watch him….oh boy…

  • I read the article twice, but I can’t find anything about what happened to the rapist? Was he prosecuted as a juvenile, so may be out now in his early 20s? Is he registered as a sex offender? The idea that he may be out in the community is unsettling.

  • “adult assigned to monitor him was taking a nap.”

    Huh? FAIL!

    “The autistic student had a full-time one-on-one aide because he was known to be violent.”

    Defeats the purpose of even having someone (Bryan Simpson) watch the autistic student if he’s fast asleep.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up