$5M settlement reached in Kamehameha Schools sex assault case
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kamehameha Schools will pay out $5 million as part of a settlement with students and parents who sued in the wake of a sex assault case involving a former teacher.
Gabriel Alisna, an ex-teacher and debate coach at Kamehameha Schools, is accused of videotaping students in his shower while they were at his faculty housing apartment preparing for debate tournaments.
He's pleaded not guilty to violation of privacy and misdemeanor sex assault, and is free on bond.
The civil suit hinged on the school's actions in the wake of the allegations against Alisna, now a Washington state resident.
Attorney Michael Green, who represents several of the victims and their parents, said that Alisna may have recorded as many as 30 students. He previously accused the school of a cover-up, alleging that school security guards improperly handled evidence.
On Thursday, Green said that the school and its trustees "provided the students affected with a sense of gratification and belief that the school will take all necessary steps to prevent similar misconduct in the future."
He added, "They've acknowledged the harm that they've done. The important thing for Mr. Alisna is he never has a chance to teach or instruct a single child again. This man has given up the right to be an educator."
The settlement, reached with three parents and four former students, is to be finalized later this week and includes a dismissal of the civil claims brought by the plaintiffs in 2013, according to Kamehameha Schools officials.
"The well-being of our haumana is our top priority," said Jack Wong, chief executive officer of Kamehameha Schools, in a statement.
"Together we agreed resolution was the right thing to do, and we remain committed to seeing Alisna held accountable to the fullest extent of the law as the state continues its criminal proceedings."
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