By Star-Bulletin Staff

Thursday, June 17, 1999

Saipan nightclub suit settled

By Debra Barayuga, Star-Bulletin

Former waitresses at a Saipan nightclub who filed a sexual harassment suit against their employer will receive $350,000 under a consent judgment reached last week.

EJ International, doing business as Moods and Music, and nightclub owner Elizabeth P. Castenada will pay $50,000 each to seven employees Castenada recruited in the Philippines and brought to Saipan under the guise of working as waitresses.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit last year in the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands, alleging the women in September 1997 were subjected to repeated sexual harassment by customers in private karaoke VIP rooms.

The waitresses, all in their 20s, were ordered to go into the karaoke rooms where customers grabbed and groped them. Another waitress was nearly raped, according to the commission.

"The harassment was very egregious and pervasive," said Daphne Barbee-Wooten, senior trial attorney in the commission's Honolulu office, who prosecuted the case. When they complained, they were told "this is how we make money," she said.

Employers need to know that when an employee complains about customers sexually harassing them, the law requires the employer to remedy and eliminate the problem, said William R. Tamayo, regional attorney in the agency's San Francisco district office.

This is the first sexual harassment case brought and settled in Saipan by the commission, which has jurisdiction in the area.

Hawaii 2000

Nobles rest in peace at
Royal Mausoleum

IN 1863, Kamehameha IV set aside a plot in Nuuanu Valley for the Royal Mausoleum.

There are separate crypts for the Kamehameha and Kalakaua dynasties: The Kamehameha crypt was completed in 1887; the Kalakaua crypt, in 1910. Foreigners who wed royalty also rest in the Royal Mausoleum.

The only royal missing is Kamehameha the Great, "The Lonely One," whose bones were long hidden by comrades in a secret cave on the Kona coast -- per the ancient custom of burying nobility in secrecy.

Isle attorney picked for appeals court seat

WASHINGTON -- President Clinton today nominated Honolulu attorney James E. Duffy for a seat on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

If confirmed by the Senate, the appointment would end a 15-year drought during which none of the judges on the 28-seat court has been from Hawaii. The court handles cases from nine western states, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

"It's good news," said Paul Cardus, a spokesman for Sen. Daniel Akaka, who two years ago pushed through the Senate a requirement that every state in a federal district have at least one judge on the appellate court. "We know of no opposition to him."

Duffy, 56, has the blessing of both Akaka and Sen. Daniel Inouye, who submitted his name.

"Mr. Duffy has had an impressive 31-year career as a lawyer in Hawaii," said Inouye. "Not only does his background include a long list of accomplishments in the field of law, but also in personal service to his community."

A former president of the Hawaii State Bar Association, Duffy is a partner with Fuji-yama, Duffy and Fujiyama. He is a trial lawyer who specializes in product liability and personal injury litigation.

Hawaii has not had an active judge on the 9th circuit since Judge Herbert Choy became a senior judge in 1984.

Regulator flaw caused reservoir to leak

The reservoir leak that led to a call for water conservation in Windward Oahu this week was traced to a malfunctioning water pressure regulator at the Waihee Line Booster Station in Kailua.

Board of Water Supply crews checked pipelines, valves and pumping stations throughout the 20-mile Windward system after discovering difficulty in keeping the Pohakupu reservoir filled.

Chief engineer and manager Clifford Jamile commended Windward residents for complying with the emergency conservation measures.

Gov. Cayetano vetoes four crime measures

Gov. Ben Cayetano has vetoed four crime bills, including one related to homicide.

The bill would have shifted the burden of proof from the prosecution to the defense when raising the extreme mental or emotional disturbance defense of manslaughter.

"The vast majority of state and federal jurisdictions across the nation do not place the extreme mental or emotional disturbance defense on the defendant," Cayetano said yesterday.

"My concern is that this bill would take the defense away from people, such as battered women, who should be legitimately entitled to its benefit," he said.

Another bill was intended to deter suspects who might escalate encounters with police officers into physical confrontations. Cayetano said it would have had the opposite effect.

The third bill would have permitted a robbery conviction even though the victim was unaware that a theft had been committed.

And the fourth vetoed bill would have created three new sections for the offenses of child abuse.

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Police, Fire


By Star-Bulletin staff

Moped rider critically hurt in collision with pickup

A 28-year-old man was critically injured last night in a collision between a moped and pickup truck in Manoa.

The injured man was driving the moped and tried to turn left from Maile Way onto University Avenue when he was struck by the pickup truck at 9:10 p.m.

Police closed University Avenue from Kaala Way at the entrance to Mid-Pacific Institute to Metcalf Street.

The moped rider is at Queen's hospital with head injuries.

Traffic investigators said he might have run a red light.

Marine base house fire lands one in hospital

One person was hospitalized for smoke inhalation following a house fire at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe today.

The blaze was reported at the Manning Place housing area at 9:27 a.m. and was extinguished at 9:45 a.m., base officials said.

Police seek help solving Kauai man's 1994 murder

HILO -- Police are asking for the public's help in solving the 1994 murder of Vernon Joseph Souza Jr., 31, of Omao, Kauai.

Souza's partially burned body was found off Saddle Road on the Big Island on Sept. 30, 1994.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 961-2385 or CrimeStoppers at 961-8300.

Kitchen fire damages home on Maui; no one injured

WAILUKU -- A fire in the kitchen of a house in Haliimaile caused an estimated $65,000 in damage this morning.

Assistant Fire Chief Donald Moniz said the fire at the home of Shegeki Hasegawa was extinguished about 1 hours after firefighters received the call at 5:03 a.m.

No one was injured in the blaze. The cause is still under investigation.


The Courts

Man indicted in hit-run death of moped rider

An Oahu grand jury has indicted a 28-year-old man for manslaughter in a hit-and-run incident in Kapahulu that led to the death of a moped rider.

Clyde Loa was identified as the driver of a van that veered into incoming traffic on Kapahulu Avenue on May 15, hitting a moped driven by Jack Robert Miller, 40.

Loa allegedly made an illegal turn onto Harding and fled the scene.

$200,000 medical claim against state rejected

A federal jury has rejected a $200,000 claim against the state by Shea Burns-Vidlak, awarding him $17,500, said acting Attorney General Thomas R. Keller.

Burns-Vidlak sued the state for damages allegedly resulting from state denial of Quest medical coverage.

His major claim was that if he had medical insurance he would have been able to treat his epileptic seizures with a special "ketogenic" diet.

The jury award was for unrelated claims, Keller said.

"This verdict is significant in that this is the primary case from which plaintiff's attorney has spawned hundreds of others against the state," Keller said, noting Burns-Vidlak was seeking damages of half a million dollars.

Bank robbery, flight disruption charges filed

A federal grand jury has indicted an Oahu man in the Aug. 27 robbery of Bank of Hawaii's Waiakamilo branch.

Robert A. Torres was charged with a federal bank robbery count.

Also indicted yesterday was Todd R. Leighley, who is charged with interfering with the crew of a Delta Air Lines flight from Honolulu to Los Angeles.

The incident, in which Leighley reportedly tried to enter the cockpit, occurred Aug. 13.

Attorney to serve as part-time judge

Chief Justice Ronald Moon has appointed Jerilyn Ono Hall as a per diem judge, or a part-time judge, in the District Court on the Big Island.

Ono Hall is an attorney for the law firm of Belles Graham Proudfoot and Wilson in Kamuela.

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

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