Ex-HPA teacher accused of abuse


A lawsuit filed Wednesday shortly before a deadline accuses a former Hawaii Preparatory Academy teacher of sexually abusing two students during the 1970s and early ’80s.

The former students, identified as Jane Roe 30 and Jane Roe 40, claim Loren Barker abused them between the ages of 13 and 18 while he was a teacher.

HPA is also named as a defendant.

The women are able to file the lawsuit because of a two-year window waiving the statute of limitations for civil cases involving child sex abuse in the state.

That window closed Thursday.

An HPA spokeswoman said the Waimea-based school could not comment at this time.

“We have not received an official copy of the complaint, which apparently, recites events alleged to have occurred in the 1970s,” a statement provided to the Tribune-Herald said. “It would be inappropriate to comment until we have a chance to review an official copy of the complaint.”

Mark Gallagher, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said the women do not plan to speak publicly about the case. Jane Roe 30 is a Hawaii resident. Jane Roe 40 lives in Colorado.

Gallagher said Barker’s last known residence was in Montana. It’s unclear if he has an attorney.

The lawsuit in Hilo Circuit Court appears to be the second involving former Big Island residents that could be filed because of the waiver.

The other alleges former isle resident Jay Ram sexually abused boys he fostered and adopted while living near Umauma.

Five men who were in his care in their youth are listed as plaintiffs.

Another former foster child of Ram field a separate lawsuit Wednesday alleging abuse.

The lawsuit also names Catholic Charities, which it says placed the boy in Ram’s care, as a defendant.

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

 

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