Basketball standout Shawna-Lei Kuehu sues former coach, Punahou School over alleged sexual abuse

Shawna-Lei Kuehu, a basketball champion at Punahou School who went on to star in college, sued her former Punahou coach Dwayne Yuen and the school Friday, alleging that he sexually assaulted and abused her.

The 2008 Punahou graduate is one of a string of women who played basketball as teens at the school who have come forward in court this week accusing Yuen of sexual abuse and the school of doing nothing to prevent it.

“Over the course of years, Dwayne Yuen used Punahou School, and specifically the girls’ basketball program, as his hunting ground to lure and assault female students,” the suit filed in Circuit Court alleges. Yuen was an assistant girls basketball coach in his 30s at the time.

On Wednesday, mixed martial arts champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, her sister Mahina Macfarlane Souza and a 2007 Punahou graduate identified only as “Jane Doe,” also filed suit in Circuit Court against the school and Yuen alleging sexual abuse, assault and battery and gross negligence, among other charges. Souza graduated from Punahou in 2006 and her sister in 2009.

That suit was handled by the Law Offices of Vladimir P. Devens, which went on to file another complaint in court Friday, representing a 2006 Punahou graduate who alleges a similar pattern of abuse and chose to remain anonymous. That plaintiff said she reported Yuen to the school in 2004 to no avail.

Kuehu’s lawsuit describes Yuen as a pedophile who preyed on her when she was “a young and vulnerable child.”

The complaint says the assaults took place during her freshman and sophomore year. They ended only when Kuehu’s mother secured a temporary restraining order against Yuen, not because Punahou did anything to stop it, the suit alleges.

Kuehu is represented by attorneys Crystal K. Glendon and Kelli K. Lee Ponce.

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