HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A former standout on Campbell High School's softball team has filed a lawsuit alleging that an assistant coach sexually abused her while she was still a student-athlete.
The suit, a 'Jane Doe' filing by an unnamed female student, accuses Kevin Nagamine of grooming her for future sexual favors from the age of 14, providing her with gifts, food and rides home from practice.
When she turned 18, the suit alleges, they had sex.
"This individual took advantage of her, befriended her, became her confidante, placed her on a pedestal above all the other students," said Myles Breiner, the woman's attorney. "This individual is a predator."
Nagamine, who has not been charged with any crimes, could not be reached for comment despite multiple attempts to do so. The state Department of Education also declined comment, citing pending litigation.
Experts say that although the girl was 18, and that the age of consent in Hawaii is 16, Department of Education rules ban sexual activity of any kind between students and staffers, regardless of age.
Additionally, federal gender equality laws could make it a crime for a teacher or coach to have sex with a student.
"A student in that kind of student-teacher relationship really doesn't have the ability to freely consent to the relationship," said Meda Chesney-Lind, University of Hawaii Women's Studies Professor. "As long as there's a power differential in the relationship, there's really not freedom on the part of the student to say 'no.'"