Professor accused of sex assaults over 6-year span


POSTED: Saturday, September 19, 2009

A math professor who has been teaching at the University of Hawaii for nearly 30 years is accused of sexually assaulting a girl from the time she was 7 years old until the age of 13, according to a police affidavit filed yesterday in Honolulu District Court.

Authorities charged yesterday David A. Stegenga, 63, with seven counts of first-degree sexual assault and five counts of third-degree sexual assault.

The girl, now 17, reported to police earlier this month that Stegenga, a family friend, had sexually assaulted her from 1999 to 2005, and that many of the alleged sexual acts occurred between two and four times a week.

Police arrested Stegenga on Thursday morning after he held a Math 100 class on the UH- Manoa campus.

“;We are concerned about the allegations leading to yesterday's arrest of Professor David A. Stegenga, as the safety of our students, faculty and staff is of the highest priority,”; said Reed Dasenbrock, UH-Manoa vice chancellor for academic affairs, in a written statement yesterday. “;We are cooperating fully with the HPD investigation.”;

;[Preview]  UH Math Professor Charged With Sexual Assault

One day after arresting him on the UH Manoa campus, police charged David Stegenga with sexual assault.

Watch ]


Stegenga's classes are being covered by other teaching staff, he said. “;Because this involves a personnel matter, we are unable to comment any further.”;

The university would not say what actions, if any, it will take against the tenured professor, who received a 2009 Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. Stegenga posted $500,000 bail was released last night from the main police station cellblock.


Police said the sexual assaults occurred in various places in Kailua. They include Stegenga's home in the Enchanted Lake neighborhood of Kailua, the girl's home, inside Stegenga's car, at Kailua Beach Park and at another residence, according to the police affidavit.

Stegenga allegedly used his finger and mouth to sexually assault her, and also allegedly fondled her using his hands and mouth, the affidavit said.

The girl also told police that when she was 8 to 9 years old, Stegenga would place her on his lap and show her digital images of animals mating on his home computer. Then he would allegedly hold her by the waist and, through their clothing, rub his genitals against her private parts, according to the affidavit.

Police also interviewed the girl's older sister earlier this week. She told police she saw nude digital photos on Stegenga's home computer of herself when she was about 12 or 13 years old, taken while in the bathtub at Stegenga's home.

Students were surprised to learn Thursday of the sexual assault allegations. His colleagues declined comment.

Stegenga's Web page on the UH math department's lists his research papers on geometric function theory, functional analysis and Sobolev spaces.

Stegenga and his wife were featured on the OC16 TV show, “;Heroes,”; for their volunteerism. The couple spends on average 100 hours a month volunteering at the Honolulu Zoo, working with animals, and designing and maintaining its Web site.