More alleged molestation victims speak out about St. Francis psychiatrist

Published: Mar. 19, 2014 at 8:22 AM HST
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Dr. Robert Browne
Dr. Robert Browne

Gerald Carrell was sent to Dr. Robert Browne office for counseling when he was 12. It was an experience that left him scarred for life.

Now a teacher in Washington state, Carrell said Browne sexually abused him on that day in 1972.  And he repeated the lewd acts on more than 150 times over the next several years, Carrell said.

"He pulled my pants down and started j***ing me off. I kind of didn't know what to think about it," said the 1977 graduate.

Carrell is one of 15 former Kamehameha Schools students -- all men now in their forties and fifties -- who shared their stories of abuse with Hawaii News Now. Each of their experiences were very similar and contain vivid in details.

Like B.B., who was sent to Browne's office on a weekly between 1977 and 1978. This man, now in his late 40s, said Browne molested him about 50 times, the first time was when he was 13.

B.B. thinks the abuse is one of the reason's he's had trouble coping with everyday life: Long term substance abuse problems, a failed marriage and chronic unemployment. For him, homelessness is a constant battle.

"I don't know enough of the psycho-babble jargon. But something Dr. Browne did triggered something inside that perhaps prevented me from me being who I should have been," he said.

"I spent most of my life -- 40-plus years -- stoned."

Another alleged victim said Browne signed him out of Kamehameha's dorms so he could take him to his Manoa home.

The psychiatrist later asked the boy to join a group discussion with local activists and artists and invited him to stay the night.

"The following morning I woke to Dr. Browne fondling me and then I became very upset about that," said the man, who goes by the initials L.L. in the lawsuit.

Browne -- who died in 1991 at the age of 65 -- was a prominent member of local society. He once headed St. Francis' psychiatric department and served on a number of local community boards, such as the ACLU.

He also took part in the civil rights marches in Alabama back in 1965.

But a lawyer for the victims said he was a prolific predator.

"He's a monster. He's had, he's a pedophile. He's a monster. He had access to children," said attorney Michael Green, who estimates that Browne may have victimized more than 100 boys.

Like the Penn State sex abuse scandal and Catholic priest molestation cases, the allegations are about incidents that happened years ago.

In a statement, Kamehameha Schools said it's now investigating but said that its efforts are being hampered by the fact that the alleged events occurred more than four decades ago.

But the victims believe their accounts are partly corroborated by the school's own records that would show how many students were referred to Browne.

They blame the school and St. Francis for not doing enough to protect them. Both institutions are being sued by the victims.

"Kamehameha had a big hand in this," said Carrell.

"I would have never met the guy for Kamehameha and I certainly would have been better off had I not met him."

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