UH professor arrested in sexual assault


POSTED: Friday, September 18, 2009

Police arrested a 63-year-old University of Hawaii-Manoa math professor on suspicion of 10 counts of sexual assault yesterday morning, just 15 minutes after concluding his Math 100 class.

David A. Stegenga, hired in 1980, is a tenured math professor, UH-Manoa spokeswoman Diane Chang said, adding that his classes will continue and be covered by someone else.

He was arrested for investigation of five counts of first-degree sexual assault and five counts of third-degree sexual assault, police records show, but he had not been charged as of last night.

“;Oh my god,”; said Karly Kanehiro, 19, who took a midterm in Stegenga's math class yesterday morning and had not known that he had been arrested.

“;He seems like a pretty straightforward guy, and I never thought that he would do anything of that sort,”; she said.

Police did not provide any details last night of the alleged sexual assaults, as is usually the case, and did not say whether the victim was a student or whether there were multiple victims.;David Stegenga: His Web site says he got the 2009 Excellence in Teaching award

Chang acknowledged the arrest but said the school has no details on who the victim is, where the alleged sexual assaults took place or any details of the allegations.

Stegenga's Web page on the UH math site pronounces he received the 2009 Faculty Excellence in Teaching award.

“;I heard he was a good teacher,”; said engineering student Carlthan Ling, 18. “;I was supposed to take him for an upper-level math class. That's surprising.”;

Ling noted that this was not the first time a UH math professor has been arrested.

He referred to the case of a math professor who was indicted for allegedly trying to set fire to his office at the Physical Sciences building on the UH-Manoa campus. David Bleecker, 61, was arrested June 11 and was indicted for arson.

Stegenga is a 1968 graduate of Purdue University, has advanced degrees from the University of Wisconsin and held academic and research positions at the University of Wisconsin, Princeton and Indiana University.

Stegenga's Web page also shows he has been a longtime volunteer with the Honolulu Zoo, working with animals as well as maintaining its Web site. He is a past president of the board of directors of the Honolulu Zoo Society.