Former teacher found guilty of secretly filming students in shower
Gabriel Alisna was a debate teacher at Kamehameha Schools.
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A former Kamehameha Schools teacher was found guilty Friday of five counts of first-degree invasion of privacy for secretly filming students in the shower.
Gabriel Alisna faces up to five years behind bars for each count.
He was found guilty a day after hearing from one of his victims on the witness stand.
“I had a close relationship with Mr. Alisna and he betrayed my trust,” the victim said.
The prosecutor then asked, “And when you saw the videos, how did you feel then?”
“Terrible,” the student replied.
Alisna was in the courtroom as the student testified against him.
"It was a complete betrayal by somebody they were close to, that they trusted, that served as their mentor, even as family members got close to them. It was a complete betrayal of that trust,” said Deputy Prosecutor Lynn Costales.
The former teacher and debate coach was charged for allegedly setting up hidden cameras to film students in his faculty apartment in 2013.
Alisna did not testify. His attorney Keith Shigetomi said he might appeal the verdict.
“We're disappointed but we're not discouraged. The case is not over. There are other things to be done so we have to take the next step,” said Shigetomi.
Shigetomi argued in court there wasn’t enough evidence that Alisna installed the video camera and did the videotaping.
But the judge didn’t buy that.
“What’s sad is -- unbeknownst the boys who were staying at his apartment -- they were then being secretly record by the defendant, (whom) the court finds did intentionally and knowingly place or installed the video recording device in the shower,” said Circuit Judge Rom Trader.
In July, Kamehameha Schools agreed to pay four of those victims $5 million to settle a civil lawsuit.
The civil case hinged on the school’s actions in the wake of the allegations against Alisna, now a Washington state resident.
In a statement Friday, Kamehameha Schools said, “We believe the court reached the right decision. Our hearts and prayers are with the students and their ‘ohana.”
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