Former Kamehameha Teacher Sentenced to 10 Years for Sexual Abuse
On February 15, a former Kamehameha Schools assistant band director was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of several counts of sexual assault in a case involving a 14-year-old student.
25-year-old James Maeda was sentenced to a 10-year-term by Circuit Court Judge Fa’auuga To’oto’o for 10 counts of second-degree sex assault and a 5-year term for one count of third-degree sex assault. These terms will be concurrent.
Maeda sexually assaulted the girl four times between June 2017 and February 2018. Most of the assaults happened on campus. Maeda was arrested in February of 2018.
In September, Maeda pleaded guilty to 10 counts of second-degree assault and one count of third-degree sex assault as part of a plea deal.
Previous Cases of Sexual Abuse Involving Kamehameha Schools Employees
Tragically, this recent case is not the first incident of students being sexually abused by a Kamehameha Schools employee. In September 2018, a group of dozens of victims agreed to a settlement in a case of sexual abuse involving former St. Francis Medical Center psychiatrist Robert Browne between the 1950s and 1980s. Browne served as a consultant for the private school.
This settlement agreement also included promises to better protect students from abuse and to immediately report abuse.
The victims will split $65 million in the first year, minus legal fees. The remaining $15 million will be divided and paid out over the next two years.
In July 2018, the school agreed to pay out a $5 million settlement in the case of former teacher and debate coach Gabriel Alisna, who was accused of secretly videotaping students as they showered in his faculty housing apartment prior to debate tournaments.
Justice for Survivors of School Employee Sexual Assault
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com represents survivors of sexual abuse, helping them find the justice and financial compensation they deserve in civil court. We’ve asked Brian to add some information on how the legal system can help survivors:
Sexual predators often seek out positions of trust and authority in fields like education where they’ll regularly be around children. Our schools have a responsibility to be aware of the dangers that sexual predators pose and to have preventative measures in place to keep their students safe from these predators. When a student comes forward to report abuse, the allegation must be taken seriously and the authorities must be notified.
Unfortunately, our schools sometimes fail their students through negligence – such as failing to run a background check before hiring a new employee or failing to report suspected abuse to law enforcement. In these types of cases, the victims and their families likely have a strong case for a lawsuit.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse by a school employee, we understand your pain and we want you to know that you have options for justice. Holding negligent schools accountable can help protect others from suffering abuse and provide financial compensation for survivors. You can learn more about your family’s legal options by speaking to one of our experienced sex abuse survivors attorneys.
Local News Coverage from KHON 2 Honolulu
Location of Kamehameha Schools – Kapalama Campus in Honolulu, HI