HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kale Ane, the head football coach at Punahou School and a long-serving administrator within the institution’s athletic department, has been put on paid leave pending an investigation into alleged sexual abuses involving a former Buffanblu basketball coach, school officials said late Thursday.
At least five lawsuits involving former Punahou student athletes, including mixed martial arts champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and former University of Hawaii basketball star Shawna-Lei Kuehu, have been filed against Dwayne Yuen, who was involved with the Punahou girls basketball program between 2003 and 2006.
The lawsuits accuse Yuen of grooming and then sexually abusing the students while they were enrolled at the school. He is not believed to have ever been arrested or charged in connection with the alleged assaults.
Ane, along with several other school officials who have also been placed on paid leave, are not accused of sexual misconduct and are not named as defendants in the lawsuits, which were filed nearly two weeks ago.
But some of the lawsuits do allege that Punahou administrators failed to protect student-athletes under their care from being abused by Yuen, whom the lawsuit calls a ‘sexual predator.’
The lawsuits also claim that Punahou administrators swept complaints about Yuen under the rug when they were brought to their attention.
In a statement issued Thursday night, Punahou School said that the employees who had been placed on paid leave while an investigation is underway “recognize the need for the process to be completed in the most forthright and objective way possible.”
“Punahou supports their decisions and looks forward to a full and fair investigation of the facts,” the statement read.
In a separate email to varsity football players and their families sent on Thursday, school officials said information on an interim football coach would be available soon.
“We understand that this may come as unexpected news and we will do our very best to ensure a positive athletic experience for your child,” reads the email.
This story will be updated.