Federal prosecutors allege ex-Punahou basketball coach is a ‘prolific, aggressive child predator’
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Federal prosecutors allege that former Punahou basketball coach Dwayne Yuen is “a prolific and aggressive child predator” and say he should remain locked up as he awaits trial to protect the public.
Yuen is charged with a single count of possessing child pornography.
According to court papers filed on Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Olson said there is “strong evidence to suggest that Yuen has been grooming and sexually exploiting the children he coaches since the early 2000s.”
“Yuen is not simply a passive collector of child pornography,” Olson said.
“Rather, he is a prolific and aggressive child predator who has repeatedly targeted minors that he knows well.”
In her court filing, Olson also introduced hundreds of text messages between Yuen and three former players -- which she said shows how Yuen pursued, harassed and tried to solicit girls for sex.
Olson added that the text messages show that Yuen has a history of “relentlessly and obsessively” contacting, harassing and threatening his victims.
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The FBI raided Yuen’s Manoa home on Thursday morning and arrested him for having pornographic pictures of a former female basketball player he coached. Prosecutors said she was 17 when the pictures were taken.
In a criminal complaint, the feds alleged that Yuen sent naked pictures of himself to the girl in 2020 and repeatedly asked her to “perform sex acts on him.” Federal prosecutors also said he repeatedly offered to pay her for sex and phone sex.
Federal authorities made their latest allegations in advance of today’s hearing to detain Yuen.
The hearing was later continued to Feb. 23 and Yuen will remain in federal custody in the meantime.
Because Yuen continues to coach youth basketball teams, Olson said Yuen poses a potential risk to children.
Longtime youth basketball coach Dennis Agena agrees.
“I want to let everybody know that he shouldn’t be out on bond and release because who knows what he’s going to do again,” said Agena.
“That’s my main concern about the safety of the girls.”
Agena has coached thousands of young basketball players at his Kalakaua Basketball Clinic in Kalihi, including MMA star Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and former University Hawaii basketball standout Shawna-Lei Kuehu.
Back in 2020, he consulted with Macfarlane and Kuehu when they sued Yuen for sexual misconduct.
Their lawsuits alleged that Yuen groomed them when he was their coach at Punahou and sexually assaulted them when they were minors. The suits were settled out of court.
The feds cited the lawsuits in their latest court papers, saying the women’s allegations show that Yuen is a danger to the public.
But Yuen’s lawyer -- Assistant Federal Public Defender Jacquie Esser -- said those are civil allegations and not criminal convictions.
Yuen was not prosecuted back then because the statute of limitations on criminal charges had expired.
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