Trial of former teacher accused of recording students in shower to be public
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A state judge said Tuesday the hearing of a former Kamehameha Schools teacher accused of videotaping students in his shower will be public.
Circuit Judge Rom Trader rejected Kamehameha School's motion to keep secret the testimony of security guards who investigated former speech teacher Gabriel Alisna.
Kamehameha Schools argued that the testimony would reveal privileged conversations between the staff and school lawyers. But lawyers for the victims accused the school of a cover-up.
"There is absolutely obstruction of justice. Somebody should arrest one or more of these attorneys if they're responsible for in holding this back (evidence) from the police and the prosecutor's office," attorney Michael Green said. Green represents several victims and their parents. "The videos of naked kids pales in comparison to what we believe our investigation shows this guy was doing to these children."
Alisna has pleaded not guilty to invasion of privacy and misdemeanor sex assault charges. His attorney says the guards' testimony is crucial to his client's defense.
"What Kamehameha Schools knew, when they knew it, and what actions they took and the motivations behind those actions are critical," lawyer Keith Shigetomi said.
Attorney Paul Alston, who represents Kamehameha Schools, said the allegations of a cover-up are unfounded.
"It's wild talk about things that never happened. It's wild talk about children who were unaffected by this," Alston said. "We're not trying to block any evidence about what was found in the apartment. We're not trying to block any evidence because it's embarrassing."
According to Green, the security workers interviewed Alisna and inspected his apartment, where he allegedly filmed the boys, before calling police. He said the former speech teacher may have filmed as many as 30 students.
"The security people go in there and they clean the place out, which is a crime scene," said Green. "It's a fraud to let those people get into that house and then they sent Alisna in there and then they say 'you know what maybe we should call the cops.'"
The parent of one of the former students who was allegedly filmed also accused the school of a cover-up.
"I was lied to. They hid things. I had so much missing pieces of the whole story," parent Ron Taurio said.
Alisha's trial is scheduled for next month but will likely be pushed back if the school appeals Tuesday's ruling.
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