High school wrestling coach accused of 'inappropriate contact'

Sean Sakaida
Sean Sakaida
Roosevelt High School principal Ann Mahi
Roosevelt High School principal Ann Mahi
Roosevelt High School athletic director John Chung
Roosevelt High School athletic director John Chung

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A parent of a teenage female athlete on Roosevelt High School's wrestling team has lodged a serious complaint against head coach Sean Sakaida.

He's accused of making "inappropriate contact" with at least two girl wrestlers late at night through text messaging, sometimes as late as 3 a.m. The parent also accuses Sakaida, 30, of kissing a female wrestler who is 13.

Roosevelt principal Ann Mahi met with the parent and the coach.

"When that occurred on August 1, we immediately put the head coach on leave pending investigation," she said.

Sakaida said he does text with his student athletes, both boys and girls, but never inappropriately, and mostly after they text him asking about practice or asking for help.

"I pretty much dedicate my life to helping these kids and making them better," he said.

The parent who accuses Sakaida didn't want to be interviewed. He claims he has 15 pages of text messages, including one that talks about the "making out" incident.

"Never happened. That is totally false," Sakaida said. "I heard about that rumor and I just let it go. Maybe I should have addressed it more. But it never happened."

Sakaida has coached boys and girls wrestling at Roosevelt since he graduated from the school in 1999. He has been the head coach the last seven years.

"When we do have an allegation like this the number one thing is safety. So there is concern," athletic director John Chung said.

"Until the whole investigation is complete he will not be brought back to that position," Mahi said.

The Department of Education's Civil Rights Compliance office is now investigating. Honolulu police are not involved.

Sakaida said the accusations are troubling but not true.

"You hear one side of the story. I feel that I should tell mine because mine is the truth," he said. "I coach other girls. I'm pretty sure their parents would say there's no way he would do that. No way."

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved