Bellator MMA Women’s Flyweight Champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, her sister Mahina Macfarlane Souza and an unnamed third woman have filed a lawsuit against the Punahou School District and former basketball coach Dwayne Yeun, alleging sexual abuse from Yeun.
Macfarlane says the sexual abuse happened to her at 12 years old, while Macfralane’s sister was allegedly abused at 14 years old. The age of the unnamed woman is unknown at this time, but that person also claims that she was sexually abused by Yeun.
“I ended up losing my love for basketball, which was crazy. That’s what I wanted to do as a career. I wanted to play professional basketball in the WNBA,” Macfarlane said to Hawaii News Now.
The women’s flyweight champion had attended the school since kindergarten, with the sexual abuse beginning in 2003. Macfarlane also tells Hawaii News Now that the decision to pursue wrestling came after Yeun’s alleged abuse took place, with Macfarlane saying the abuse still scars her to this day.
“I had an inappropriate relationship with an adult who was in an authoritative position and a position of power, as a 12-year old, and that has 100-percent affected what I think is a healthy relationship," she said.
Both Macfarlane and her sister allege that Yeun forced them both to touch his testicles, offered cash for various sex acts and even sent explicit photos to both. The third woman also states that Yeun sexually abused her and also sent threatening text messages.
An email was sent out by the Punahou School District to members of the school community, with that message being:
“In no uncertain terms, Punahou stands with survivors of sexual abuse everywhere, and we respect the courage it takes to report these incidents.”
However, it appears that the email may not be what it seems, because Macfarlane and her sister both claim that they first notified the school of the abuse approximately 15 years ago.
“There was no follow at all, whatsoever, which was especially heartbreaking because I love Punahou," said Macfarlane. "I truly believe and know that they all knew what was going on and it was just like a culture there.”
Hawaii News Now would also get the following statement from the school’s Director Of Communication Robert Gelber:
“The reports allege abuse from 2004-2005 by Dwayne Yuen, a former girls basketball coach at our school. We are currently investigating these reports and are committed to working with the survivors to find resolution and healing,”
There has been no statement at this time from Yeun or a member of his legal representation.