Veteran detective
accused of rape

The officer is named in a
lawsuit and is the subject of
an internal HPD investigation

By Rod Antone

A civil lawsuit filed against a decorated 30-year veteran of the Honolulu Police Department alleges that the detective raped a woman in a police van parked in a police garage while on duty.

Filed in Circuit Court yesterday, the lawsuit alleges that Narcotics Vice Detective John James Shaw, last year's HPD Detective of the Year, also threatened to harm the plaintiff and others if anyone spoke about the incident.

The suit names the City and County of Honolulu as a co-defendant.

Shaw's attorney, Myles Breiner, would not comment about the lawsuit because he said he had not seen it yet. However, he described his client as an "outstanding citizen who has received multiple commendations and been named detective of the year more than once."

HPD officials had no comment about the lawsuit.

They confirmed that Shaw is also the subject of a criminal and administrative investigation by Internal Affairs detectives.

HPD would not comment about the allegations made against Shaw in the Internal Affairs investigation or whether they included the allegations made in the civil lawsuit.

Plaintiff Cynthia Chapman said she filed a complaint with Internal Affairs earlier this year and that investigators have collected hair samples from her.

The lawsuit alleges that on April 12, 2000, Chapman called Shaw, whom she knew as "her good friend's boyfriend," for advice regarding a family member and "the bad effects of illegal drugs." The lawsuit alleges that Shaw agreed to help Chapman and picked her up at her house and drove her to the HPD's garage plaza to "switch vehicles."

After arriving at the garage, the lawsuit alleges that "Shaw threw the plaintiff into a police van and brutally raped her."

Afterward, the lawsuit alleges, Shaw threatened to harm Chapman if she told anyone about the incident.

The lawsuit also states that four days after the alleged incident, Shaw and his girlfriend went to Chapman's house to talk to her and Chapman's boyfriend.

Sometime during the encounter, the lawsuit alleges, Shaw threatened to harm all three present along with their friends and family if any of them said anything about the alleged incident.

Court documents show that Chapman was granted a temporary restraining order, which she filed against Shaw last month.

The order, which went into effect March 12, remains in force for three years and prevents Shaw from possessing or controlling any firearm or ammunition.

Since then, Shaw has been out on sick leave and has filed for retirement, according to sources within the Police Department.

Court documents also show that another woman was granted a temporary restraining order against Shaw in February.

The court also granted restraining orders counterfiled by Shaw against the woman, who is referred to as Shaw's girlfriend in the civil lawsuit.

Several police sources describe Shaw as an excellent detective who has done much good for the Windward community.

According to an edition of HPD's quarterly newsletter that ran last year, Shaw was awarded Detective of the Year and described as "relentless in his pursuit of drug dealers."

Chapman's attorney, Grant Kidani, declined to comment about the lawsuit.

Honolulu Police Department

E-mail to City Desk


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