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Momilani teacher put on leave amid Punahou sex abuse allegations

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / AUG. 2011

    Momilani Elementary School. The school has put one of its teachers on leave after learning that two former Punahou students, who are now adults, have accused him of sexually abusing them between 2005 to 2006.

Momilani Elementary School has put one of its teachers on leave after learning that two former Punahou students, who are now adults, have accused him of sexually abusing them between 2005 to 2006.

“The Hawaii State Department of Education has recently learned of allegations against a former Punahou basketball coach (2001-2004) for incidents that allegedly occurred in School Year 2005-2006,” Momilani Principal Doreen Higa wrote in a letter sent to parents Monday.

“This individual is currently a teacher employed at Momilani Elementary School,” Higa wrote. “The employee has been placed on leave and an investigation is underway.”

She added that the department conducts detailed background checks on all applicants before hiring them, and stressed that the administration and staff at Momilani are committed to their students’ safety.

Punahou School President Jim Scott sent a letter to parents Saturday alerting them that two former students recently reported being sexually abused by the former assistant girls’ basketball coach in 2005-2006 after he had left Punahou.

The coach is not being named because the investigation is preliminary and no charges have been filed.

“We are shocked and disturbed by these allegations,” Jim Scott, Punahou’s president, wrote in a letter to parents Saturday. “We are conducting an independent internal investigation and are committed to cooperating fully with the Honolulu Police Department. We are supporting our former students throughout this process by providing access to counseling.”

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