Thursday, April 26, 2001

Teacher had sex
with student,
lawsuit alleges

The affair lasted years
and produced a child,
the lawsuit claims

By Rod Thompson
Big Isle correspondent

KEALAKEKUA, Hawaii >> A Big Island elementary school teacher and one of her students had a sexual relationship that resulted in a child, a lawsuit alleges.

In the suit filed Tuesday, the grandmother of the Kona boy sued the teacher, schools Superintendent Paul LeMahieu and the state Department of Education.

The suit alleges that teacher Shannon Dumaguin, 36, now living in Honomu near Hilo, and the teenager, 17, of Honaunau, South Kona, began a sexual relationship when the boy was between 12 to 14 years old and a student at Honaunau Elementary School.

Dumaguin was a teacher there, and the boy was in at least one of her classes, according to attorney Robert Kim, who filed the suit on behalf of Barbara Jane Leinani Parish, the grandmother and legal guardian of the teenager.

The relationship continued for several years and ended when the boy was 16 or 17 years old, according to the lawsuit. He is now five weeks short of his 18th birthday.

"These sexual encounters took place at Honaunau Elementary School during after-school hours and on weekends while the minor was a student at said school and after the minor left the school," according to the suit, which seeks an unspecified amount of monetary damages.

Dumaguin, who was married, gave birth to a daughter in November 1998.

"On or about Jan. 21, 2001, the minor for the first time disclosed to his parents and siblings that he had been the subject of a sexual relationship with the defendant Dumaguin over a period of years, and that he believed that said Defendant gave birth to a daughter whereby the minor was the natural father," the suit says.

Dumaguin's attorney, Brian DeLima, responded, "She committed no crime." He declined to say whether that means she denies having sex with the boy.

DeLima said the question of who is the baby's father is a paternity matter, which by law is confidential, he said.

Kim said Dumaguin told members of the boy's family that the teen was the father of her child.

After telling his family about the secret relationship, the teen suffered "what appears to be a mental breakdown" and had to be hospitalized, according to the lawsuit.

He was treated at a facility on Oahu and continues receiving counseling, the suit says. The youth is upset because he is being denied access to his daughter, the suit says.

Police confirmed they arrested Dumaguin on Jan. 26 in a third-degree sexual assault investigation but did not charge her. The case is pending, they said.

State law defines sexual assault in the third degree, punishable by five years in prison, as sex with a victim who is less than 14 years old. The age of the perpetrator does not matter.

Lt. Henry Hickman said an arrest without a charge may be done to obtain fingerprints and photos to establish the identity of a suspect. Such an arrest may be needed to execute a warrant for a body search, such as obtaining body tissue, he said.

Kim said police did a DNA test to determine whether the boy is the father of the girl, but he has not seen the results. He said he will seek a court order to have an additional DNA test done.

Dumaguin filed for divorce from her husband, Darry, on Sept. 5, before the allegations became public. The couple was already separated then, with Dumaguin living in Honomu and working at Kalanianaole School just north of Hilo, according to divorce records.

Her husband, a mechanic, continued living in Kailua-Kona.

The couple were listed as having two daughters, one born in 1992 and another born Nov. 11, 1998.

A judge ordered the husband to pay child support of $250 a month each. The couple were given joint custody, but the children were to live primarily with their mother.

District school Superintendent Dan Sakai confirmed Dumaguin was teaching at Kalanianaole School in January but went on leave when the criminal investigation became public.

Sakai said he is not sure of her current status and cannot comment on the department's internal investigation.

E-mail to City Desk

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