18 more plaintiffs join sex abuse suit against Kamehameha Schools
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Eighteen more plaintiffs have joined a lawsuit against Kamehameha Schools, alleging the school failed to protect them from a school psychiatrist who was a sexual predator.
Some 26 people are now plaintiffs in the suit, which alleges Kamehameha Schools psychiatrist Dr. Robert Browne sexually molested boys over a span of 27 years, from 1958 to 1985. Browne committed suicide in 1991, after being confronted by one of his alleged victims.
Blake Conant's brother Christopher is among the new plaintiffs.
"My brother's life was ruined by this physician," said Conant, speaking at a news conference on Tuesday.
Conant said his brother was abused in the 1960s and 1970s, beginning when he was just 12.
"I just couldn't connect the dots. How all of the sudden a young guy who was full of life was just wasted," Conant said.
The lawsuit claims Browne got Chris Conant and others hooked on prescription drugs. "His eyes were half-mast. It was like he was in a stupor, and he would just sit at breakfast with my grandmother and mother and I in a zone," Blake Conant said.
Christopher Conant battled drug and alcohol addictions his whole life before fatally overdosing in 2011.
His only brother has been left to pick up the pieces.
"Anger. I can't tell you any other way. It's just pure disappointment and anger," Conant said.
Mark S. Davis, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs, said the Kamehameha Schools "abandoned their responsibility" to students and failed to investigate appropriately.
The suit seeks unspecified damages, and accountability from the school.
"Kamehameha Schools has to take responsibility for this. They're not going to run away from this case," said attorney Michael Green.
In a statement, Kamehameha Schools it continues to be "troubled and saddened" by the allegations made in the lawsuit, and that it working to resolve the issue.
The lawsuit was initially filed in 2014 with eight plaintiffs.