Sex assault allegations from 70s surface at Pearl City school

Former Highlands Intermediate security officer accused of serial sex assaults

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A sex offender murdered in Washington state is now being accused of serial sex assaults that took place decades ago at Highlands Intermediate School in Pearl City.

Victims have recently come forward accusing Joseph Moisa was a campus police officer and oversaw students in the school’s Campus Police Officer (CPO) program which helped handle crowd and traffic control.

“He was really, to them, a bully — a frightening figure with the authority of the school behind him. They were in fear of him," said attorney Mark Gallagher, who represents one of the victims.

“There were oral sex types and fondling types of conduct ... He would strike them with an open hand while telling them they would be harmed if they share with anyone what it was that he had done.”

Joseph Moisa, pictured here, is accused of sexually assaulting at least six former Highlands Intermediate students during the 1970s.
Joseph Moisa, pictured here, is accused of sexually assaulting at least six former Highlands Intermediate students during the 1970s.

Gallagher said he’s aware of about half a dozen of Moisa’s victims.

Hawaii News Now has learned that other victims plan to come forward with a separate lawsuit accusing Moisa of molesting them and the Department of Education of not supervising him.

The DOE referred questions to the Attorney General’s office, which declined comment. A DOE spokeswoman said the department could not find Moisa’s employment records.

Moisa’s story got more bizarre after he moved to the California where he was convicted of sexually molesting a child in 2010.

In 2010, Moisa was convicted of sexually assaulting a minor in California.
In 2010, Moisa was convicted of sexually assaulting a minor in California.

He then moved to Washington state where he was killed in 2014.

Richard Atkisson was accused of bludgeoning Moisa with a pipe and suffocating him with a plastic bag.

News reports said Atkisson, a sex offender himself, killed Moisa and another roommate because he suspected they were looking for potential victims.

“It’s poetic justice," said Gallagher. “It certainly seems for Mr. Moisa that the universe came back to repay him for the harms he did."

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