21 Feb 2018

Hawaii's Kamehameha Schools to pay $US80M to abuse victims

8:27 pm on 21 February 2018

Hawaii's Kamehameha Schools have settled a sexual abuse lawsuit, which will see $US80 million given to victims of sexual assaults by a former school psychiatrist.

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Photo: 123rf

Robert Browne secretly drugged, raped and tormented students at the private school from 1958 to 1985.

In a recent lawsuit brought by 32 students, lawyers for the school said the victims would share the compensation and the school would make more of an effort to prevent this happening again.

Victim Alika Bajo said he'd kept quiet for decades about the abuse he had suffered as an eighth grader, before coming forward.

"My personal thing is that we are getting Kamehameha to do something that they didn't want to do all this time. We just have a safeguard in place especially having transparency and oversight, because as we all know stuff has been covered up for a long time and that is just the truth. My truth now is that I am part of that reckoning."

As the settlement was announced, Honolulu police arrested a school faculty member, amid new allegations of sexual misconduct.

In 1991, Dr Browne took his own life after a victim chose to confront him and the psychiatrist's employer for not accepting liability.

The private schools were set up by Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the great grand daughter and last direct descendant of King Kamehameha, with the mission to improve the well being of Hawaiians through education.