Bellator flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and two other women are suing a former basketball coach for sexual abuse.
Hawaii News Now reported Macfarlane and two other student-athletes filed a lawsuit on Thursday in Honolulu Circuit Court. Punahou School and their former basketball coach Dwayne Yuen are named among the defendants in the case.
Macfarlane claims the sexual abuse began when she was a 12 year old keen to pursue a career in basketball, she said.
“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.”
According to the report Macfarlane and her sister Mahina Macfarlane Souza were sexually abused by Yuen aged just 12 and 14, it reads.
“The sisters allege that Yuen later forced them to touch his genitals, offered cash for sex acts and sent explicit photos of himself. He is believed to have been involved with the Punahou girls basketball program between 2003 and 2006.
“The third former student, who is not named in the lawsuit, also alleges that after she was sexually abused by the former coach, Yuen sent threatening texts and phone messages to her. Transcripts of some of those messages are attached to the lawsuit.”
Punahou School are also in the firing line as the Macfarlane sisters accuse them of ignoring their reports of abuse 15 years ago. The schools Director of Communications Robert Gelber reacted to the lawsuit, he said.
“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.”