Accused molester says
student kissed him

The former school counselor
contradicts prosecution testimony

By Leila Fujimori

A former Mililani Middle School counselor accused of fondling two girls last year denied the charges on the witness stand yesterday.

The two 14-year-old girls, who are friends, testified last week. One alleged that counselor Allan Sagayaga kissed and hugged her and touched her breast on March 15, 2001.

The other, who came forward after seeing Sagayaga on the news, said he hugged and kissed her and touched her buttock in February 2001.

Sagayaga is on trial on two counts of third-degree sexual assault. The jury of seven women and five men will hear closing arguments today. If convicted, Sagayaga faces five years in prison for each count.

Sagayaga testified that in the alleged March 15, 2001, incident, the girl kissed him and inserted her tongue into his mouth.

The principal and vice principal testified last week that Sagayaga told them he had hugged and kissed her.

But Sagayaga explained yesterday that when the two asked him, "Was there a hug and a kiss?" he responded, "I said, 'Yes,' but, I continued, 'I pushed her away.'"

He said he did not mean he initiated the hug and kiss.

He said he then reprimanded her and told her it was inappropriate.

Sagayaga said he thought the kiss was a response to his suggestion that she might be able to take a correspondence course instead of having to attend an alternative school to allow her to catch up because of failing the seventh grade.

He also denied kissing her on two prior occasions, which the girl also alleged.

When defense attorney Keith Shigetomi asked Sagayaga why he never reported the incident, he said: "I told her, 'Don't let it happen again.' I made a judgment call that it was a reaction."

Sagayaga also testified the girl who claimed he touched her breast was wearing a backpack in front of her body.

As to the second girl's accusation of his stroking her buttock and hugging and kissing her, Sagayaga said none of it happened.

He testified that the girl came to him with a problem about being teased that her mother is a lesbian. That contradicted her testimony that she had been hanging out at this office with a friend and that he asked the friend to leave and to close the door.

Shigetomi explained to Judge Michael Town last week after the jury was excused from the courtroom that his client had discussed the girl's sexual activity as part of a counseling session.

He said Sagayaga had passed the information from that meeting on to the girl's regular counselor, who passed it on to her therapist, which upset her.

Deputy Prosecutor Thalia Murphy asked the judge to disallow any reference to the discussion, but the judge allowed it without specifics about sexual activity.

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