Foster parent implicated in Big Island sex abuse scandal

Big Island sex abuse scandal
Published: Apr. 16, 2014 at 2:53 PM HST
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Jay Ram in the 1970s
Jay Ram in the 1970s

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A man once praised for adopting troubled youth on the Big Island is now being called a "monster" by his own boys.

Jay Ram fled the Big Island years ago, leaving a trail of accusations that he molested boys that he adopted. A New York news site recently caught up with the man in Florida, where he now lives.

According to Vice News, the allegations stretch back to the 1970s when the young hippie started a commune near Davis, Calif. where he allegedly forced his sons to perform sex acts. He later moved to a farm in Hakalau on the Big Island.

"He's just the worst kind of monster there is out there. I really hate him. He didn't just ruin my life, he ruined all my brothers' life," said Rajan Ram, who was adopted by the Ram.

Five victims, now grown men, have sued Ram, claiming he sexually abused them for years.

Advocates for sex abuse victims said the case is one of the worst they've seen.

"It is ultimately tragic. You have these kids who at their ultimate bottom. They're vulnerable, they're being pulled out of their homes," said Joelle Casteix, Western Regional Director for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

"He destroyed them."

Ram was charged with sexual assault back in 1993 but that case fell apart due to conflicting witness testimony. Hawaii's Child Protective Services took the boys from Ram's home but was forced to send them back.

"We conducted an investigation and we determined that there was sufficient basis to take the children into custody," said Patricia McManaman, director of the state Department of Human Services.

"The Hilo Family Court, however, after review, returned the children to Mr. Ram."

Many of the victims said they were scarred by the alleged abuses.

"There were several instances I wanted to jump off that bridge, the Hakalau Bridge," said Carlos Ram, who was adopted by Ram in the 1990s.

Added Rajan Ram: "It's been horrible. I've been to prison. Two felonies on my record."

The lawsuits were made possible by a two-year "window" that allows sex abuse victims to seek justice ... even though the statute of limitations may have run out. That window closes next week.

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