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Bellator champ Ilima-Lei Macfarlane Sues Coach for sexually abusing her and her sister when she was a student at the school

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, Belabor women’s flyweight champion and her sister Mahina Macfarlane Souza along with an unnamed woman just filed a civil lawsuit last Wednesday accusing a former assistant basketball coach, Dwayne Yuen, of sexually abusing them when they were just 12 years old. 

Dwayne Yuen was a coach at a Hawaii private school and allegedly sexually abused the women when they were students at Honolulu’s Punahou School between 2003 and 2006, beginning when Ilima-Lei was just 12 years old.

Honolulu’s Punahou School is also listed as a defendant in the suit alleging that the K-12 school not only ignored past reports of Coach Yuen’s behavior but also covered up the reports.

According to the suit, the Macfarlane sisters claim that Coach Yuen offered them money to perform sexual acts on him and continually sent them pictures of his genitals along with sexually harassing them throughout their years at the school.

The Macfarlane sisters claim in the lawsuit that they reported Yuen to Punahou administrators back in 2004 or 2005 and “pled for the school’s help and protection,” to no avail. A 2018 school investigation into Yuen also didn’t result in any action taken, according to the suit. Punahou “covered up, conspired, and swept the Macfarlane sisters’ report under the rug,” the suit alleges.

Ilima-Lei told ESPN Yuen was still coaching youth basketball, though not at Punahou, up until recently, and she felt she needed to come forward in a lawsuit since her repeated reports to Punahou School to hold Yuen accountable for his alleged actions were ignored. She said that and she felt she needed to come forward.

Yuen did not comment. No criminal charges have been filed against Yuen.

Punahou said it “stands with survivors of sexual abuse, and we have established a path for any survivor in our Punahou family to come forward and be supported with compassion and respect.

“Providing for the physical, mental and emotional well-being of each student is Punahou’s highest priority. Since 2018, after retaining a nationally recognized expert in school safety, we instituted safety measures that include a rapid response team to handle any reports of abuse, a 24/7 hotline for abuse reporting, expanded sexual misconduct training and a student safety and security committee. We continue to dedicate ourselves to building the strongest culture of safety possible.”

If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual abuse, Herman Law may be able to help you achieve justice. Jeff Herman is a trailblazer in the representation of victims of sexual abuse, devoting 100% of his practice to the cause. Renowned for his aggressive and tireless advocacy on behalf of his clients, and his determination to help his clients heal through the litigation process, Jeff understands the unique issues involved in the representation of survivors of rape and sexual abuse. 

Jeff Herman and his team only handle sexual abuse cases and have represented over 2,000 victims since 1997. The firm offers free consultations and works on a contingency basis. Now is the time to reach out, seek justice and begin to heal.

Please contact us today to discuss your options.

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