Respected kumu hula accused of child sex abuse in newly filed lawsuit

Updated: Apr. 24, 2020 at 10:34 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Among the sexual abuse lawsuits filed this week, one targets award-winning kumu hula Howell “Chinky” Mahoe Jr. of Halau Hula O Kawaili’ula.

In a lawsuit filed Friday, new claims of child sex abuse stretching back to the 1990s surfaced.

The suit says the unnamed claimant is an Oahu man who was enrolled in Mahoe’s keiki hula class as a child.

In the suit, he alleges that from 1994 to ’98, Mahoe performed unwanted sex acts on him at his Kailua home, and during trips to the mainland.

This alleged victim is not one of the four previous students whose accusations led to Mahoe’s 1998 conviction on sex assault charges.

In that case, Mahoe was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to register as a sex offender after pleading no contest to the numerous charges of third degree sexual assault.

The boys in that case were between the ages of 9 and 14, and were members of his halau between 1994 and ’98.

Other lawsuits filed this week involved two noteworthy athletes suing Punahou School: Hawaii basketball standout Shawna-Lei Kuehu, and Bellator MMA flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane.

The wave of suits came as Friday marked the deadline for victims to come forward and take legal action against their predators.

Mahoe declined to comment Friday on the suit against him.

The victim’s attorney says he never came forward because he was too ashamed. He’s now asking for a jury trial and damages for his pain and suffering, psychological costs and lost wages.

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