Two former Punahou School student-athletes and MMA flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane accused the Institutions prior basketball coach of sexually abusing them when they were student athletes attending the Hawaii school.
“He definitely groomed us,” said Macfarlane.
Punahou School and Dwayne Yuen, the former coach, were named as defendants in a lawsuit filed in Honolulu Circuit Court.
“I ended up losing my love for basketball, which was crazy. That’s what I wanted to do as a career. I wanted to play professional basketball in the WNBA,” Macfarlane said.
Macfarlane, who attended the school since she was in kindergarten and graduated from Punahou in 2009 claims that Coach Yuen started grooming her and her sister, Mahina Macfarlane Souza, beginning in 2003, when she was 12 and her sister was 14.
She said the alleged abuse still scars her and that is the reason she left her love of basketball and pursued wrestling instead.
“I had an inappropriate relationship with an adult who was in an authoritative position and a position of power, as a 12-year old, and that has 100-percent affected what I think is a healthy relationship,” she said.
Both sisters allege that Coach Yuen had forced them to touch his genitals, sent explicit sexual photos of himself and even offered cash for sex acts. He was involved with the Punahou girls basketball program between 2003 and 2006.
A third former student, not named in the lawsuit, also alleges that after she was sexually abused by the former coach. She claims that Yuen sent threatening phone messages and texts to her.
The school says they reported the recent allegations to Honolulu police and have opened an internal investigation into the incident.